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Kintail Burn, Dusky Track,Fiordland, NZ 2012 Six Moon Designs ‘Swift’ pack @ 450 grams

 

WARNING to ‘snowflakes’. This is a Conservative Blog. It will cause upset and offence to ‘sensitive souls’. Reading it may cause dangerous thoughts and emotions to arise in you. Read on…

23/12/2017: Over the Baw Baws to Walhalla 1922: These over 70 fascinating photos of a memorable historic trip on the Upper Yarra Track illuminate a journey by John Jensen in 1922. The photos are held by the Melbourne Walking Club and are available here: http://www.melbournewalkingclub.org/photo-gallery/archives The photos were sent to me once again by Thomas Osburg of Yarra Ranges Bush Camp.

I have tidied them up a bit so they can be viewed individually. I think they are splendid. The captions are Jensen's originals. (No doubt better quality scans could be obtained if I had access to the originals, but these still give some idea of the treasures which exist 'out there'). I think the most wonderful thing about them is that they are in sequence and the captions allow us to locate the points where the photos were taken so that we can really relive this delightful expedition. One of the most enchanting things about this series of photos is that (for Jensen) it was a 'sentimental journey' reliving an earlier trip he undertook in 1907, 110 years ago today!

If you do not know the Upper Yarra Track, it is one of the world's oldest and greatest walking tracks. It predates all of the USA's famous tracks (such as the Appalachian trail, etc) by over 50 years - as well as NZ's, Tasmania.s etc. It was constructed in the late C19th (nearly 150 years ago) linking Walhalla and Warburton via the Yarra Valley and the Baw Baw Plateau. Though the route has been changed to skirt the Upper Yarra Dam Catchment, the track still exists (in reality and on the topographical Vicmaps). It can be walked in sections, and it can be extended (to about ten days) if you want to use only public transport beginning/ending at Moe railway Station or Lilydale. A highlight of the trip (in the past) was an excursion to the Yarra Falls (Victoria's highest at nearly 1,000 feet); though this is still a wonderful experience and possible, it is illegal.

In my Track Instructions I have supplied photographs of much of the route 'today' though in the other direction. You should have a look at them for comparison. Of course the part of the route which is under the Upper Yarra Dam can no longer be traversed and that part which is in the closed dam catchment area may not be (on pain of hefty fines) - though over the years a number of people have traveled parts of it (eg to the Falls and Shelter House) in defiance of such unnecessary and onerous restrictions.

Presumably Jensen and his companions set out from Warburton, and had:

Breakfast at McMahon's Creek:

An Abandoned Farmhouse:

The Yarra:

A Relic of Other Days:

A Halt for Repairs:

Upper Yarra Hotel Walsh's Creek:

The Starting Place:

At Aldermans Creek 3 Miles

The Lusty Young Yarra:

On the Track:

A Glimpse of the River:

Lunch at Contention Gully:

Old Mining Camp at Contention Gully:

Ferns and Flowers:

Our pack Horse:

A Halt 11 Miles:

Dinner in the Shelter Hut 15 Miles:

Near the Upper Falls:

The Upper Falls:

The Lower Falls:

Full Equipment:

In the Beech Forest:

Left Fork Source of Yarra:

Right Fork Source of Yarra:

A Fallen Monarch:

The Thomson Bridge 20 1/2 Miles

Last View of the Yarra:

On the Divide:

Mountain Ash and Fern

Whitelaw Shelter Hut 29 Miles:

Our unstable Residence Also called 'Lizardville'

Photographing the Clouds:

Mountain Tops:

Snow on the Track:

Camp Hole:

Above the Clouds:

A Lookout:

Mount Baw Baw 5130 feet.

On Mt St Phillack - Highest Peak.

Lunch on Mt St Phillack 5140 Feet.

A Watery Track.

Desolation.

A Morass

Snow Gums

Above the Clouds

Cloud Scenes

Where We Slept in 1907

Mount Erica Shelter Hut 37 Miles

Mount Useful in the Distance

Leaving Mt Erica

Granite Rocks

The Track Down Erica

The Granite Rocks

A Rough Track

A Forest of Mountain Ash

A Fern Gully on Erica

On the Rocks

A Timber Winch

A Log Being Hoisted

The Winchman's Hut

Railway Bridge Over Thomson

The Thomson Bridge 48.5 Miles

Entrance to the Town

Walhalla At Last

How We Entered

The 'Star' Hotel Walhalla 57 Miles

A Glimpse of the Town

Left Branch Stringers Creek

Remains of the Long Tunnel Mine

Right Branch Stringers Creek

The Modern Dick Turpin

Left Road

 

 

Leaving Walhalla

Walhalla Station

From Watson Station

Moe Station

Yarragon Butter factory

Back at Work

They were following this route: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/upper-yarra-track-1925-tourist-brochure-map/ (NB. I need to update this post. Somehow the images have shrunk) Whereas today we would be following this one: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/upper-yarra-track-map/

PS: A search in the facility on the upper right hand side of this page will reveal lots of other Upper Yarra Track treasures...there are many other interesting historic photos as well as the fascinating books by Annie Hoffa and Robert Croll.

I hope you enjoyed this post. it has taken me five hours!

See Also, eg:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/upper-yarra-track-summary-cumulative-distancestimes/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/upper-yarra-track-baw-baw-to-newlands-rd/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/upper-yarra-track-sidetrip-baw-baw-to-mt-st-phillack/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/upper-yarra-track-osheas-mill/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/upper-yarra-track-section-five-erica-to-walhalla/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/upper-yarra-track-st-gwinear-track-junction-to-whitelaws-hut/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/upper-yarra-track-section-seven-mushroom-rocks-carpark-to-phillack-saddle/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/upper-yarra-track-section-nine-phillack-saddle-to-block-10-road/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/upper-yarra-track-side-trip-poverty-point/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/yarra-falls-3/

23/12/2017: The ‘Unfit to Plead’ Scam: Terrorist scum such as Flinders St’s Saeed Noori, or Bourke St’s Dimitrious Gargasoulas as well as lots of other vile criminals have long used this ploy as a ‘get out of gaol free’ card, or at least as a means of diminishing their responsibility/sentence. Personally I do not care a jot whether they are insane or just simply evil. If they have done the deed, they should be shortened. It equally appalls me that Kylie Maybury’s vile killer Keith Davies will not be eligible for parole until he is 103. Already he has lived for 33 years since raping and killing this innocent little girl. The judge’s 28 year sentence rewards him with decades more of life. Meanwhile Kylie has had no life at all. This is not justice. He should be dead, and horribly dead. Here is an example: The execution of Robert Damien’s (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert-Fran%C3%A7ois_Damiens) . Should we reintroduce such punishments for crimes which are just too awful? Well, that choice has been stolen from us by our parliamentary representatives who have adopted a UN convention which overrides our wishes.

23/12/2017: Something to be ‘mindful’ of: actions speak louder than words: Had Enough Therapy? Act First, Then Think: http://stuartschneiderman.blogspot.com.au/2017/12/act-first-then-think.html

23/12/2017: Taming the Weather: I am as guilty as anyone in damning the BOM. Its politicisation (eg in the climate debate) does not help; nor does it help when it gets it desperately wrong (as recently with the ‘unprecedented flooding’ which never happened about a fortnight ago), but their forecasts do actually save lives. Another frequently overlooked thing which saves uncounted lives from ‘extreme weather events is engineering. Our houses, buildings and infrastructure are actually more intelligently planned and better constructed than they were in the past (despite failings such as was shown up in the recent London fire), so that our world is actually safer than it has ever been: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/12/21/how-science-tamed-the-weather-keeping-us-safe-while-we-sleep/

22/12/2017: Grand Canyon Timelapse: I am not much in to videos (or even pictures actually) but I was particularly impressed by the beauty of these two: https://vimeo.com/217407298  

 

And: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/shadowland-fiordland-video/

22/12/2017: Interesting Xmas Gift – something for the man who has everything, but has at least one thing he shouldn’t have: https://extranewsfeed.com/new-apple-watch-delivers-500-volts-to-men-who-get-inappropriate-erections-at-work-dfd3457648d

22/12/2017: Police to Arrest Those Who ‘Interfered’ with Innocent Driver following yesterday’s Flinders St ‘incident’. Police also emphasized that the ‘happening’ was also an excellent (even if unplanned) demonstration of the safety features of the ‘crumple’ design of Suzuki’s SUV - and that Landrovers and bull bars will henceforth be banned as a consequence. Police also warned that anyone failing to note that there are many Presbyterians and Buddhists of ‘Afghan descent’ would be charged with ‘hate speech’. In unrelated ‘incidents’ police also noted that people falling against iron bars and knives during recent ‘drunken revels’ in Melbourne must not refer to the irrelevant ethnicity of anyone involved, or use the term ‘home invasion’ which will also be banned…Police emphasized that we should continue to ‘celebrate diversity’ and that the ‘X’ in ‘Xmas’ could equally stand for ‘llamas’, ‘big fat mamas,’ ‘black mambas,’ ‘Hamas,’ etc. https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/we-have-to-balance-peoples-human-rights/news-story/a46f816e275e4cd6072eca0d5dcdbea5

PS: Steyn’s take on this: ‘

‘That's the scene in Melbourne. At street level, the area is cordoned off. Thousands of law-abiding citizens are disrupted in their daily business by an Australian citizen "of Afghan descent and mentally ill". At the far corner, that's St Paul's Cathedral. Can you see the banner they're displaying three days before Christmas? Anything about Jesus? Christianity? No. Instead:

WELCOME REFUGEES

In that post-Christian void - the shell of a church with faith in everything but itself - a very merry Muslim Christmas makes a perverted kind of sense.’ https://www.steynonline.com/8340/we-are-the-bollards

Now admits he is a Moslem refugee and did this to redress our treatment of Moslems. I'm sure the small children he critically injured have done Moslems immense harm. How long do we have to accept this Islamic terrorism before we deport the lot of them?

22/12/2017: Snowy 2 to cost $12 billion, much more than would be needed to retrofit Hazelwood, Yallourn, Lidell, Vales, Munmora etc with clean coal technology to produce much more cheap, reliable power. Does anything about this remind you too of Kevin’s NBN? https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/turnbull-cant-admit-his-snowy-scheme-costs-too-much/news-story/3b21ba69f0a5f6fb3a0247dddbcd5179

21/12/2017: Hike Naked Day:

Now, you can’t get more ‘ultralight’ than that! However, don’t expect to see me there – I have to work! or something…

https://www.facebook.com/getnakdaustralia/photos/a.1786293091632646.1073741828.1784759198452702/1937867426475211/?type=3&theater

21/12/2017: The ice core data was already corrupt, eg the last 80 years of data did not match the surface data so it was discarded and the conjoined data set time-shifted to hide this fact ie the CO2 levels in annual snow for the last 80 years did not match direct observation. However, if the last 80 years of ice core data could not be made to match the known and recorded CO2 percentages, the rest of it certainly can’t.  Now we learn that the data is further corrupted by bacteria (‘Life will find a way’). As the ice cores are the only ‘evidence’ of ‘global warming’ perhaps it is time we called a halt to action on ‘climate change’ https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/12/20/uh-oh-ice-cores-used-for-paleoclimatology-may-have-been-altered-by-bacterial-action-from-within/

20/12/2017: A very remarkable man Kazimierz Piechowski has died; how few people escaped from Auschwitz: http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2017/12/when-someone-wants-to-tell-you-how-to-live-tell-them-about-the-late-kazimierz-piechowski.html

20/12/2017: Duh! Free Speech is good for society: http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2017/12/15/delingpole-more-freedom-of-speech-in-beijing-than-san-francisco-warns-tech-industry-ceo/

20/12/2017: Too True: ‘The greatest folly can seem trivial or reasonable at the time, which is precisely why it is so dangerous…Perhaps you have been taught that the stock market crash of 1929 caused the Great Depression. That is not so. The crash both reflected and amplified the recession that the US economy was entering in 1929; however, it was the problems of the banking system and of monetary policy that cascaded recession into depression.’ http://www.dinocrat.com/?p=52205

19/12/2017: Wilderness Siligloo: Nearly 6" of rain had fallen in the Wonnangatta River catchment recently. The river was still 'up' so I reckoned this would be my last opportunity this summer to canoe this section of this wonderful river. Yes, you can hitch a ride in.

At Eaglevale I park under a shady tree and wait for a lift to Hernes Spur (9 hours) or Wombat Spur (11 hours). NB: Better to get there on Friday night. Some folk will go in then, others first thing on Saturday morning. If you arrive late morning Saturday you may miss a lift altogether. Fortunately kindly couple Kay & Ron Locke from Lake Munmora NSW gave me a lift. I grew up in the 1960s within 5 km of their house.

I put in at Hernes Spur. There was plenty of water.Ron and Kay sent me this photo of me setting out - and I took this photo of them. This was their first visit to the station, but I doubt it will be their last!

 A couple of hours down the river I made camp pretty much in the same spot as last time. It was a splendid serene spot with oodles of birdsong. Also, last time a dozen deer came grazing along on the other side of the river just on dusk so I was hoping to see them again. Too late for a photo that time. A couple of quickly cut bush poles and my home away from home is ready for me.This is my Siligloo: It proved to be everything I had hoped for. I had a wonderful refreshing sleep in it. You can see the clothesline worked fine too. I regret my wife Della pulled up lame on the morning we were leaving and missed this trip. She will have to wait for a bit more rain and for the next one. There will be one - or many! She has canoed sections of this trip before.

You have to admit it is a pleasant place to camp. How green it still is (for December) after the 4-6" of rain we had last week. This 'dark olive' is a good colour for a tent: the deer do not seem troubled by it at all. A number came up quite close and honked at me.

My washing up spot (blue cup, etc). Deer had been wallowing right on the river's edge.

Like this:

All packed up and ready to go.

You have heard of 'parallel evolution'. Nature sometime emulates art. These could be 'Cyclopean Walls such as those at Mycenae or Tenochtitlan.

Talk about 'serendipity'. Last trip I had lost my 'Airbeam Pad' (a pity as they no longer make them, alas). My photos showed me around about where it must have come adrift of my pack, but there had been over 2 metres of water down the river since then, so I figured it to be in Bass Strait. However it had washed into a pile of wrack (as you can see below) only twenty yards from where it must have popped out of my pack.

It reminds me of Cherry-Gallard's story ('The Worst Journey in the World') of the midwinter expedition to the Emperor Penguiins in 1912. They went to the windiest place on earth 500 lies from base in Antarctica. It was so windy they had to build a wall of stones around their tent. Lots of places in Antarctica have land. Nonetheless during the night the blizzard took it away. When the blizzard abated they headed off pretty sure they would die, as without a tent it is impossible (because of the wind) to melt water, so you will thirst to death surrounded by millions of cubic miles of ice and snow. On the first day out, they found their tent,and were saved. The exact same thing happened in the same place to Alan Rayment, the CEO of Wings And Water Airline, Te Anau, my favourite airline. Serendipity indeed! Mind you, some of the members of this expedition perished with Scott on his race to the pole the same year - Wilson for example!

Farmers have been planting some kind of 'camel thorn' (at least a very prickly acacia) to consolidate the banks now that the willows are outlawed. They are not doing a bad job either.

I just love synclines.

Of course I saw a few of these on my voyage. I just love watching the does playing with their fawns.

PS: The trip down from Hernes Spur took 8 hours this time. The river height was 1.94 - 1.97 metres (at the Waterford gauge). This is a lovely safe height which avoids a lot of portages over shallow gravel races at the lower height of my last trip (1.78 metres - about the minimum). It would be even better with yet another 6" of water (ie 15 cm) - so around 2.15 would be really excellent.

A couple of little video snippets for you...

Again, the morning chorus when I woke at about 5:30 am was magnificent. The view out the front door of my tent.

[video width="1920" height="1080" mp4="http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/20171217060805.mp4"][/video]

I do so love being alone in the wilderness:

[video width="1440" height="1080" mp4="http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/201712170700261.mp4"][/video]

See Also:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/pack-rafting-the-remote-wonnangatta/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/remote-wonnangatta-day-two/

19/12/2017: The Singing Mice: A fascinating article http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/The-Mystery-of-the-Singing-Mice.html#ixzz1Jw33OqiH (and please pursue it to other articles by the amazing Rob Dunn: http://www.robrdunn.com/)

19/12/2017: Even a genius isn’t always smart with money. The ‘South Sea Bubble’ and ‘The Tulip Bubble’ & etc bear a striking similarity in my mind to the ‘Bitcoin Bubble’ and Australia’s ‘Housing Bubble’ which will burst one day: http://maggiesfarm.anotherdotcom.com/archives/23452-How-Isaac-Newton-Went-Flat-Broke-Chasing-A-Stock-Bubble.html

19/12/2017: Bitcoin Mining Consumes an Entire Country Worth of Electricity. In a report last week, the cryptocurrency website Digiconomics said that worldwide bitcoin mining was using more electricity than Serbia. The country. Writing for Grist, Eric Holthaus calculated that by July 2019, the Bitcoin peer-to-peer network—remember BitTorrent? Like that—would require more electricity than all of the United States. And by November of 2020, it’d use more electricity than the entire world does today: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/12/17/bitcoin-climate-dilemma-mining-bitcoin-consumes-an-entire-country-worth-of-electricity/ This is far worse than the ‘South Sea Bubble’.

18/12/2017: Happiness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=24&v=eGh5T5IP9Jg

18/12/2017: 5 years and a lazy 100 million or so yet they discovered zero pedophiles in the Indian Moslem or Aboriginal communities – where it is rife, came up with a scheme to hand out 4 billion dollars to anyone who asks (great idea – where’s mine?), and a plan to force priests to report confessions! What an idiotic idea. Its consequence is clearly that no-one would confess or priests would be unable to help folks who might. Why not just come up with a plan that requires folks to confess right to the police? On the bright side lots of lawyers can afford a new Merc!

18/12/2017: This really a ‘cool’ idea can save 30% of your aircon bills: http://www.offgridquest.com/energy/cut-your-electric-bill

18/12/2017: What happens when there are too many elephants in the room (and they are all radical feminists). Goodbye Sweden: http://www.mindingthecampus.org/2017/12/gender-tyranny-at-swedish-universities/

15/12/2017: A Hands Free Umbrella: What a good idea that would be, especially if you need to use both hands for trekking poles on rough or steep terrain. When the weather is really humid, you really need a roof to keep you dry (and warm). A raincoat in such circumstances will just see you soaked and frozen.

See: The Importance of a Roof   Hiking in the Rain and Raincoat Shelter

In such circumstances my Pocket  Poncho Tent may save your life.

There are several possibilities. For example Antigravity Gear has a model featuring clips which attach your trekking umbrella to your back pack. https://www.antigravitygear.com/shop/rain-gear/swing-handsfree-backpack-umbrella/

There are several other possibilities, such as:

 

 

 

 

A search for ‘hands free umbrellas’ will provide you with lots of fun and amusement!

One I particularly like is the Ufocap: http://ufocap.tradekorea.com/product/detail/P280367/UFOCAP---Innovative-Umbrella.html?minisiteprodgroupno=32229 These little guys cost about $10 on eBay and weigh about 170 grams. Even if they look a bit silly they should do the job. The ones with transparent panels (at least at the front) would help you see where you were going.

Best of all: A reader recommends this excellent DIY solution to attaching your umbrella to your pack here:https://ramblinghemlock.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/umbrella-rigging.html

I think I would caption this one, 'Fun with Umbrellas'. Well done 'Rambling Hemlock'.

If you are thinking of carrying an emergency hiking umbrella you might choose this one at 128 grams or this one at a mere 86!

15/12/2017: Polar Bear numbers are up sixfold since the 1950’s. No wonder a handful is starving. Some places it is even raining polar bears: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=52&v=fxis7Y1ikIQ BTW, Here is the ugly truth about dying polar bears: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/12/11/delingpole-ugly-truth-dying-polar-bear/

15/12/2017: Let’s just leave the aircon on during the heat wave, and burn some more coal until fusion comes along: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/12/14/laser-boron-fusion-now-leading-contender-for-energy/ 

15/12/2017: Minimum Effort: Is just 4% a reasonable pass rate for spelling? It is for Naplan. Surely you could achieve this mark just by guessing! In fact there are very few areas where a ‘pass rate’ of 20% is required and only one where 50% is considered ‘meeting the minimum standard’. Apparently 12% is considered a ‘pass’ for maths. Something wrong with Naplan’s maths, I’d say! Frankly this is a national disgrace (yet spending on ‘so-called’ education has skyrocketed): https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/naplan-minimum-national-standards-under-fire-as-victorian-students-score-zero-for-spelling/news-story/bc486b5932399a6d44c04c704da5eaa8

14/12/2017: The Siligloo: Here is my new ultralight 'Sil-igloo' tent at 379 grams. As you can see it is huge: big enough to stand up in - I guess it is over 100 square feet (9-10 square metres) of cover. There is plenty of room for two large adults and two small dogs , and to spread out gear all over the place. For scale that  groundsheet is 5' by 8' (150 x 240 cm & 100 grams)

It requires 10-12 Shepherd's Hook stakes to erect it.

The tent has a lovely airy feel to it. I am going to love this tent. Particularly I will love carrying it!

By the way, that is a 3/4 length (4') Thermarest Neoair mat for scale.

It goes up really quickly and simply, but it does not want to come down the same way - unlike so many tents. It will also keep you plenty dry in all sorts of weather, and you can have a warming fire out the front on cold nights without the risk of it raining inside the tent. I have solved a whole bundle of tenting problems right here.

It also has a 6' (1.8 metre) internal clothesline for drying your stuff and five other internal gear hanging points. I made the tent out of a new 1.1 oz/yd 2 'Xenon' silnylon purchased from these guys (I have recommended them before) for A$11.95/metre (Dec 2017).

I could have wasted more material and done less sewing, but my money doesn't grow on trees even if yours does. I made the Pocket Poncho tent out of the same material, and it works splendidly.The material is extremely light and slippery and has a soft feel like silk. I have sewn very few things this delicate, so I am still learning techniques (as you can no doubt see - I also had a problem with my bobbin). No doubt someone else could do a better job, but at least the tent will work, which is the main thing.

I have been working on this tent for some time. I nearly finished it before we went to walk Mt Bartle Frere back in late August when I did this post then I set it aside as I had other things to do - and no need for it. I want it now for a pack rafting expedition Della and I are about to head off on, so we finished it.

Many of you will recognise its evolution from this, to this. Some of you will also have noticed my Pocket Poncho Tent which I thought was quite an achievement at 185 grams and which I intended to be a floor for this tent..

I have now to finish my Deer Hunter's Tent and make a silnylon and perhaps a cuben fibre version of it. It will be an even lighter two person tent than this one. In cuben fire (top) and silnylon (bottom) it will probably be under 300 grams - quite an achievement for a two person tent you can stand up in and warm with a fire! Using the Pocket Poncho Tent for a floor, and with a silnylon roof it should still only weigh around 400 grams - not bad for a two person tent and a raincoat for one!

We have camped out lots of times in the prototypes of these three tents. For example, here we are in the Deer Hunter's Tent. Here in the prototype of the Siligloo. And here I am in the Pocket Poncho tent - so they work fine. And, Yes, I am planning to sell them, some time - but I am old (and still busy about the farm and such) and things just don't get done as quickly as they once did. Please be patient. Next year Jerusalem, as they say.

Tiny isn't it? .

And 379 grams, as you can see.

But plenty of room for two adults and two dogs.

Front view.

Side view.

Rear view - you can see I have sewn a tie-out at the top to brace the top into strong winds.

Some folks might worry about a tent which is always open on one side. In the prototype I sewed in a couple of flaps so I could close this, but I have not found it necessary so I have not included them yet in this model. I guess they would only add about half an ounce (15 grams). If a really bad storm comes you can take out the side pole and space out the pegs so the tent becomes a closed tipi which you would crawl into.

I may sew a couple of vents into the peak so that I don't get condensation in this or the closed configuration. Erected as a tipi it is nearly 10' across! I guess in an emergency you could shelter nearly a dozen people sitting up.

I have not sealed the seams. I doubt they will need it. They are all flat-felled. The Tyvek versions never needed it. The tie-outs would add a bit more but I doubt it is 400 grams with them -  plus about 70 grams for the pegs. I will make a couple of small bags too: one for the tent and one for the stakes.

I will probably also make a floor for it - of course it was intended that I would use my Pocket Poncho tent for a floor, but I would wear it out pretty quickly if I used it all the time for that purpose. I will use it sometimes though - particularly on long trips with my wife, Della when we will also benefit from having a spare raincoat if needed.

The guy lines are the glow in the dark kind as are the micro line locks, as explained here. More about stakes.

Here it is in the bag with the stakes and the groundsheet:

PS: I always carry my tent in the side pocket of my pack. I attach the tent to the pack with the carabiner so I don't lose it.

14/12/2017: Andrew Bolt is wrong, the ‘deplorables’ need a hero. Contrast this: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/dont-do-it-tony/news-story/78e5f793eb42ecee4f4342b4a53e6e35  with this: https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2017/11/case-abbott-redux/

14/12/2017: I’m sure THIS is how it works here too. Redistribution only fuels the entitlement mentality. Everyone should pay a proportion of their income as taxes so that they feel their Government and society belongs to them – and so they will have an interest in how Government money is spent: not just sit idly by with their beggar’s bowl crying ‘Poor Me’ and expecting a handout from the rest of us: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-obama-care/121013-682454-government-becomes-a-massive-wealth-transfer-engine.htm

12/12/2017: Happy Birthday George Mason. Rights do not originate from government: ‘All men are by nature born equally free and independent… men entered into compacts to give up some of their natural rights, that by union and mutual assistance they might secure the rest; but they gave up no more… all government, and every kind of civil compact therefore, is or ought to be, calculated for the general good and safety of the community. Every power, every authority vested…is, or ought to be, ultimately directed to this sole end; and whenever any power or authority whatever extends further…it may be called government, but it is in fact oppression.’ https://fee.org/articles/george-masons-powerful-words-about-liberty/

11/12/2017: Hanlon's razor: ‘Never assume a conspiracy in that which can be explained by ignorance or stupidity.’

11/12/2017: The type of people they want to go away – but what if we did: https://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2017/12/10/were-the-type-of-americans-the-elites-in-d-c-want-to-go-away-n2420561

11/12/2017: Less than 1C of warming per century - hardly climate disaster: This careful examination of the satellite data surely puts the doomsayers finally to rest: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/12/04/weekly-climate-and-energy-news-roundup-294/

10/12/2017: So, as I have said before, the sea level has not risen in 150+ years. ‘Scientists’ have been faking it: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/12/06/tidalgate-climate-alarmists-caught-faking-sea-level-rise/ John Daley pointed this out long ago:

The 1841 sea level benchmark (centre) on the `Isle of the Dead', Tasmania.  According to Antarctic explorer, Capt. Sir James Clark Ross, it marked mean sea level in 1841.  Photo taken at low tide 20 Jan 2004: https://www.john-daly.com/

Mark is 50 cm across; tidal range is less than a metre.

10/12/2017: Weird way to make money: Ethereum miners are renting Boeing 747s to ship graphics cards and AMD shares are soaring: https://qz.com/1039809/amd-shares-are-soaring-ethereum-miners-are-renting-boeing-747s-to-ship-graphics-cards-to-mines/

10/12/2017: Better and better. Thanks capitalism: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/12/08/some-of-the-most-encouraging-graphs-about-the-human-condition-youll-ever-see/ & https://ourworldindata.org/

09/12/2017:

09/12/2017: The Great Conversation & the Great Books: How many of them have you read? I find that I am better ‘educated’ in drama and poetry than any other field. Some of the ‘literature’ I have tried (and failed). Still, I see the point: that there exists a corpus of great ideas: http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/youre-going-have-educate-yourself which is today falling into neglect to the extent apparently that 20% of the population cannot name even one author! http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/1-5-cant-name-author-new-survey-finds

09/12/2017: Basically we met our Kyoto targets by stealing land from Australian farmers and ruining them. To meet our Paris targets we must do the same to the rest of Australia: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/11/climate-unicorns-downunder-as-australians-offer-to-cut-co2-by-50-per-capita-in-12-years/

08/12/2017: Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital for what – several thousand years! Once the UN was about the right of national self-determination and sovereignty: http://www.dailywire.com/news/24354/excellent-trump-7-reasons-trump-would-be-right-ben-shapiro

08/12/2017: Xmas used to be a time of wild debauchery, promiscuity, drunkenness - all sorts of fun – until the wowsers got hold of it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_of_Misrule particularly under Oliver Cromwell: http://www.historytoday.com/chris-durston/puritan-war-christmas Now, even its pale shadow is under threat from PC/Islam. Kissing under the mistletoe is a poor echo of the Bacchanalia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacchanalia

07/12/2017: Kokoda Track Memorial Walk: This delightful track is located right on the Melbourne fringe near Upper Ferntree Gully Railway Station. For people of my era it is a ‘walk into history’ as so many of our close relatives (fathers, uncles, etc) were involved in this heroic struggle, either in New Guinea (or WW2 in general) in one way or another.

The Japanese onslaught on Australia included the bombing of Darwin and Broome and attacks in many other places in Australia - famously in Sydney Harbour, but less well-known was an assault by a plane flown off a submarine in Bass Strait on the Yallourn Power Station here in the Latrobe Valley, the plane being shot down and crashing in the bush not five kilometers from our house!

The Japanese invasion came within about 20 kms of Port Moresby, so Australia was in imminent danger of invasion  and was successfully repulsed by the sacrifice of our Kokoda heroes. Their campaign and the related battle at Milne Bay was the first time the Imperial Jabnese Forces had ever been defeated, so it was crucial and pivotal to the Allies winning against the encroachments of the Axis.

You can spend a couple of delightful hours exploring this lovely spot, and soaking up some of the history which ought never to be forgotten. Much of it is intelligently displayed in monuments, billboards and brass informational plaques so it it readily accessible.

The entrance: the lush Dandenong Ranges area is Melbourne's best kept secret. Often the Mountain Ash forest has been replaced (as here) with beautiful introduced trees.

A spectacular information board area is worth an hour of closer study. Here you will learn eg about Kingsbury VC who charged the Japanese with a Bren machine gun under his arm, killing many of them - until he himself was killed.

I was particularly impressed by this photo of the Highlanders (the so-called 'Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels') carrying a wounded 'digger' (who has clearly lost a leg - his composure in that circumstance is astonishing!). I was impressed by the elegance of the improvised litter: It would not have occurred to me that the weight of the patient on the ends of the blanket would be enough to secure it in place, as it is clearly doing.

You follow a winding path and are plunged immediately into the forest primeval.

Some very big timber still exists - this is a giant mountain ash. The largest of these were the largest trees which have ever existed on earth.

You pass the remnants of some of these giants which have fallen amongst the ferns.

The track follows a fern gully up the hill. The stream tinkles away only a few metres from the path.

The path is also called 'the 1,000 steps' though I did not count them. Along the way, approximating major points of 'interest' on the real Kokoda track there are brass plaques explaining what occurred at each point. My uncle fought in the New Guinea campaign, so I found these plaques very poignant.

Here is the last one when you reach the Kokoda Village.

A statue and Honour Board to the fallen serve as a permanent reminder of what we owe to these brave soldiers and New Guineans.

07/12/2017: 40,000 volcanoes. Wow! They have to equal or exceed humanity’s footprint, surely. ‘It turns out the second largest volcano in the solar system is apparently not on Io, but 1,000 miles east of Japan. It’s the size of the British Isles, but who knew?’ http://joannenova.com.au/2017/12/do-40000-volcanoes-matter/

 07/12/2017: ‘The poorest 20 percent in Hong Kong still find themselves in the richest 20 percent of all humans’. Much the same could be said of Australia: https://fee.org/articles/there-is-no-such-thing-as-poverty-in-hong-kong/

07/12/2017: In a similar vein, Health spending is negatively correlated with health outcomes: (and much the same could be said of education spending - and most ‘welfare’): http://www.arnoldkling.com/blog/health-spending-negatively-correlated-with-health-outcomes/

06/12/2017: Voyager 1 fires its engines for the first time in 37 years. If only they built machinery like that nowadays: https://www.space.com/38967-voyager-1-fires-backup-thrusters-after-37-years.html

06/12/2017: What sort of a fool is Albanese: http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2017/12/anthony-albanese-told-the-abcs-730-program-a-lot-more-about-his-family-than-hes-disclosed-on-his-cit.html

06/12/2017: There is always another perspective I suppose, even apparently to liking the abysmal North Korean regime:  http://www.news.com.au/travel/world-travel/asia/north-korea-the-side-of-secretive-country-most-dont-see/news-story/9f8c074cfcfb4b39e64299f7eff6a9e3

04/12/2017: Ultralight Pen #2:

Valiant Concepts Titanium Keychain Pen: Designed to live on your keychain and go anywhere you go, The Valiant Concepts Keychain Pen is there when you need it, and practically disappears when you don’t.

Featuring a pressurized Fisher ink cartridge and operated simply by twisting the tail to expose the writing tip, this is the highest quality, most compact keychain pen on the market.

Diameter: 0.240"

Length: 2.50"

Weight: 0.235oz (6.7 grams)

Materials: Titanium

US$53.99 Dec 2017)

https://www.illumn.com/every-day-carry-gear-edc/pens-tools/valiant-concepts-titanium-keychain-pen.html

See Also:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-pen/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/miniature-pens/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/tactical-pens/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/waterproof-notepads/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/pen-fishing-rods/

04/12/2017: ‘Trump sticks out like a sore thumb at the moment not because he is dangerous maverick but, on the contrary, because he is the only truth teller in a world of lies… Some of us here in Britain – many if not most of us, I suspect – are continually pinching ourselves in disbelief at what our country has become in so short a space. It seems only yesterday that we used to be able to walk over Westminster Bridge or go shopping round Borough Market or go to a pop concert without for one second having to worry about the possibility of being murdered by Islamic terrorists’ http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/12/01/delingpole-donald-trump-trolls-londonistan-like-boss/

04/12/2017:  It is not the fault of the entrepreneurs that the consumers—the people, the common man—prefer liquor to Bibles and detective stories to serious books, and that governments prefer guns to butter. The entrepreneur does not make greater profits in selling “bad” things than in selling “good” things. His profits are the greater the better he succeeds in providing the consumers with those things they ask for most intensely. People do not drink intoxicating beverages in order to make the “alcohol capital” happy, and they do not go to war in order to increase the profits of the merchants of death.” The existence of the armaments industries is a consequence of the warlike spirit, not its cause…It is not the business of the entrepreneurs to make people substitute sound ideologies for unsound. It rests with the philosophers to change people’s ideas and ideals. The entrepreneur serves the consumers as they are today, however wicked and ignorant.’ Ludwig von Mises

04/12/2017: Credit Card Knives:

Boker Plus Credit Card Knife: A unique design from Massachusetts knifemaker John Kubasek. With its compact dimensions, slim profile, and removable pocket clip, this piece offers a variety of carry options. Fits perfectly in the credit card compartment of your wallet, can be carried via clip in the pocket of your shirt, or on a ball chain (included) around your neck. This extremely lightweight knife also features a reliable and sturdy frame lock mechanism, titanium liner and black-coated 440C stainless steel blade. The finger choils and handle end provide a surprisingly ergonomical and comfortable grip. The perfect everyday companion!

Specs

Boker Plus

Blade: 440C stainless steel

Handle: Stainless steel

Titanium liner

Removable pocket clip

Blade length: 2.25 in (5.7 cm)

Closed length: 2.8 in (7.1)

Overall length: 5 in (12.7 cm)

Weight: 1.1 oz (31 g)

Included (2) Ball chains - 1 original, 1 extra

Available: https://www.bokerusa.com/pocketknives/boker-plus/tactical-knives/credit-card-knife-black-01bo011 US$39.95 (Dec 2017)

See Also:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/small-thin-pocket-knives/

http://www.iainsinclair.com/en/cardsharp4-natural.html

Below: the Cardsharp Knife:

http://www.iainsinclair.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/c/s/cs4n_tech_view_3_1.jpg

03/12/2017: The Conservative vote is strong. That’s the lesson from the New England and Qld elections. It is Turnbull and the Left generally who are out of step. Barnaby for PM! So much preferable to the Three Stooges:

http://michaelsmithnews.typepad.com/.a/6a0177444b0c2e970d01bb09dc5996970d-pi

03/12/2017: Away with the birds: http://www.neatorama.com/2017/11/25/Brazen-Bird-Theft/

03/12/2017: Supermoon: the moon is at apogee so it will be 16% brighter, but I doubt you will see it. PS: It’s all because of ‘global warming’: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/12/01/supermoon-this-weekend-will-be-biggest-full-moon-of-the-year/

02/12/2017: If you thought jumping out of a plane was bad enough, watch these two guys jump into one: https://laughingsquid.com/wingsuit-pilots-jump-into-passing-plane/

02/12/2017: Waterproof Hearing Aids:

https://www.signia-pro.com/global-pro/wp-content/uploads/sites/74/2016/07/Motion-P_primax_sandy-brown_pair_950x700px.jpg

(Pictured above Signia Motion – they also take the ultra-thin ‘Life Tubes’)

If you are pretty deaf like me you can’t do much well in the outdoors without waterproof hearing aids. Unfortunately Siemens (now Signia) have stopped production of the Aquaris model of waterproof hearing aids, so I can no longer buy a spare (though I will be looking out on eBay – Gumtree is better for this)

They have two new models which are mildly water proof 1P67: the Motion and the Cellion. These new models also have updated hearing technology, so if you are after a new pair of hearing aids you will be hearing better than ever with them! They even claim you will hear better than folk with normal hearing!

However, I have spoken to Signia/Siemens at length and they say neither of these products will stand being submerged (particularly the receiver in canal (RIC) of the Cellion, so I can’t imagine what this rating is all about, The Motion is likely to fare better than the Cellion – and should withstand sweat and some light rain, but will not stand being submerged, they say – though it will probably dry out and start working again (and would be covered by a warranty) There is nothing now which is suitable for swimming or canoeing (ie when you fall out, which you always do sometime!) The best you can do is maybe source a pair of second – hand Aquaris. Good luck with that. You will have competition.

Below is what the IP stuff is (supposed to be) all about:

IP (Ingress Protection) ratings IP67 & IP68:

 

First digit: Solid particle protection:

 

6

Dust tight

No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact (dust tight). A vacuum must be applied. Test duration of up to 8 hours based on air flow.

 

Second digit: Liquid ingress protection:

7

Immersion, up to 1 m depth

Ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time (up to 1 m of submersion).

Test duration: 30 minutes - ref IEC 60529, table 8.

Tested with the lowest point of the enclosure 1000 mm below the surface of the water, or the highest point 150 mm below the surface, whichever is deeper.

8

Immersion, 1 m or more depth

The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer. However, with certain types of equipment, it can mean that water can enter but only in such a manner that it produces no harmful effects. The test depth and/or duration is expected to be greater than the requirements for IPx7, and other environmental effects may be added, such as temperature cycling before immersion.

Test duration: Agreement with Manufacturer

Depth specified by manufacturer, generally up to 3 m

 

The rechargeable nature of the Cellion (and the ‘soluble RIC!) means that I would have to carry a charger and a power source (as compared with two spare hearing aid batteries - perhaps), so they would increase my pack weight by perhaps 200 grams or more. Unacceptable. I will be going with the IP67 ‘Motion’ model when the time comes to update my Aquatris ones – unless I can find something better! They are available here from US$1195 ea –Nov 2017: http://www.thehearingclub.com/SiemensSignia-MOTION-and-Orion-2-BTE-Models_c_121.html

 

Siemens claimed their Motion binax was IP67 waterproof to 1 metre for 30 minutes: https://www.bestsoundtechnology.com/pro/siemens-hearing-product-portfolio/binax/motion/

 

PS: I managed to buy a second hand model of the Motion Binax on Gumtree for A$250. This is wonderful news for me.

 

See Also:

 

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/zenni-the-hearing-company/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/securing-hearing-aids/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_Code

02/12/2017: Despite Musk’s battery and heaps of diesel generators to replace their destroyed coal fired power station, SA keeps having blackouts. Astonishing really. What went wrong? http://www.news.com.au/national/south-australia/almost-150-businesses-without-power-in-the-adelaide-cbd-during-the-second-black-out-in-a-week/news-story/82042e02b13473cf6157a857f1213df9

02/12/2017: ‘The only thing worse than a bank which makes profits is one that does not’ is the only thing the ‘Banking Inquiry’ need to know; everything else is a waste of money – after all most of the profits (80%+) are returned to shareholders - ie us, self-managed super funds, and the like.

02/12/2017: The Forgotten Holocaust – the fate of the Middle East’s Jews, 850,000 people: http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/The-ethnic-cleansing-of-the-Middle-Easts-Jews-515489

02/12/2017: Weight-training essential to prevent muscle loss over age 40-50: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/11/15/well/move/to-maintain-muscle-and-lose-fat-as-you-age-add-weights.html?_r=&referer=

01/12/2017: Above, Romanian bread lines under socialism, below, Romanians line up for new iPhone:

01/12/2017: So, Turnbull is to have a banking inquiry…Just remind me again how much good the last few inquiries did, eg the Trade Union one which failed to prosecute Shorten or Gillard, though it concluded that both had committed just the offenses which had all along been claimed.

01/12/2017: Ultimate victimhood: http://www.fau.edu/newsdesk/articles/self-bullying-study.php

30/11/2017: Kamifusen (Japanese paper balloons) are astonishing. Who would have thought you could inflate a balloon by squashing it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=un-pTKfC1dQ

30/11/2017: In any sane society Dastyari would be shot for treason – yet other decent folk have been ejected from Parliament because their grandfather was Scottish!

30/11/2017: Same Sex legislation (and any other) cannot be validly passed by this parliament (by Xmas – or anytime soon) whilst there is an indeterminate number of MPs who have no constitutional right to sit or vote – as many as twenty by some counts. This issue has to be dealt with first.

29/11/2017: A Perfect Solution to Email Scams: https://boingboing.net/2017/11/08/somebody-wrote-an-email-bot-to.html

29/11/2017: Sold out on same sex marriage: No protection for free speech or conscience then, yet in September, Mr Turnbull had offered hope to Christian groups and conservative MPs when he pledged to protect religious protections following the same-sex marriage survey.  “I just want to reassure Australians that as strongly as I believe in the right of same-sex couples to marry, as strongly as I believe in that, even more strongly, if you like, do I believe in religious freedom,” Mr Turnbull said. “Religious freedom is fundamental and it will be protected in any bill that emerges from this ­parliament.” Labor will not allow a conscience vote on these protections and even some Liberals have shot them down. This is not what people voted for, so it should not go ahead, yet it will – and will end badly. I foresee the whole issue being revisited later on down the track.

29/11/2017: One Nation won 14% of the vote in Qld and 35% in some electorates, an average of 21% in those electorates where it stood (compared to the greens at 9%), seats the Coalition must win if it is to be in Government. Still, Malcolm does not get it.

28/11/2017: Greenland Sharks, ugly but ancient, ‘they estimated that one sixteen-foot female was at least two hundred and seventy-two years old, and possibly as much as five hundred and twelve years old.’ https://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/the-strange-and-gruesome-story-of-the-greenland-shark-the-longest-living-vertebrate-on-earth

28/11/2017: It’s the Government, stupid: Everyone this morning seems to think we need an enquiry into the banks (when we all know already what they get up to) when it is the Government’s disastrous mismanagement of the economy which is the root of the problem ie borrowing like there is no tomorrow, printing money, penalising thrift and rewarding wastrels…

28/11/2017: Renewable energy as a percentage share of all energy is down from 90%+ to just over 13.8%, 10% of which is wood! It is an C18th energy source best relegated to the dustbin of history: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/11/26/the-big-slide-in-renewable-energy-tells-the-real-story/

27/11/2017: What a wonder: If only we had our own Donald Trump: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/454028/donald-trump-accomplishments-thanksgiving

27/11/2017: Strange things…Dog-faced bat: Buettikofer’s epauletted fruit bat

 

27/11/2017: Weightless: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oos4ojutOMM&feature=youtu.be

26/11/2017: Hummingbird Knife: What a beautiful little keychain knife (what with Xmas coming up too!) The Rike Knife Damascus Hummingbird Mini Flipper Knife. The overall construction is impressive: The flipper is made with a damascus steel blade, titanium handle, and ceramic ball bearing washer system. It weighs 17 grams and comes in four different colours.

Rike Hummingird Knife

Specs

Blade: Damasteel

HRC: 58–59

Blade style: Drop-point

Grind: Flat

Handle: Titanium

Frame lock

Manual opening with flipper tab

Ceramic ball bearing washers

Pocket clip for right-handed tip-up carry

Lanyard hole

Handle thickness: 0.3 in (0.8 cm)

Blade thickness: 0.09 in (2.3 mm)

Blade length: 1.5 in (3.8 cm)

Closed length: 2.25 in (5.7 cm)

Overall length: 3.75 in (9.5 cm)

Weight: 0.6 oz (17 g)

http://www.rikeknife.com/page144.html?product_id=460

Available on Massdrop US$74.99(Nov 2017)

26/11/2017: Fascinating…Nothing comes from nothing; (or ‘ex nihilo nihil fit’, as Parmenides argued – though in Greek, it must be said). However, as it turns out everything comes from nothing. What a mind-blowing discovery. Imagine discovering the 90% of the universe that had been missing since 1933 - only to find that it had not been missing at all: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/11/25/dark-matter-and-dark-energy-do-they-really-exist/

26/11/2017: This is the Bureau of Met's records for our oldest continuous remote station in Victoria, Cape Otway. You can click on the 'Highlight' box to chose the warmest 5% (95th Percentile). You will see that all the really warm weather was in the C19th If you run your eye down the ‘Annual’ averages (last column), you will also see that in the C19th the temperature was at least 2 degrees warmer than it is today: http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/cdio/weatherData/av?p_nccObsCode=36&p_display_type=dataFile&p_startYear&p_stn_num=090015

26/11/2017: The great Karl Popper: Nothing I have read in the last decade is as important as this (ex Karl Popper):

‘(1) The state is a necessary evil and its powers should be kept to the minimum that is necessary.

(2) A democracy is a state where the government can be changed without bloodshed.

(3) Democracy cannot confer benefits on people. "Democracy provides no more than a framework within which the citizens may act in a more or less organised and coherent way".

(4) Democracy does not mean that the majority is right.

(5) Institutions need to be tempered and supported by traditions.

(6) There is no Liberal Utopia. There are always problems, conflicts of interests, choices to be made between the lesser of evils.

(7) Liberalism is evolutionary rather than revolutionary. It is about modifying or changing institutions and traditions rather than wholesale replacement of the existing order. The exception to this is when a tyranny is in place, that is a government that can only be changed by violence and bloodshed.

8) The importance of the moral framework.’

Please read on: http://www.the-rathouse.com/CRPublicOpinion17.html

25/11/2017: 58% of Northcote voters are public servants…the lunatics truly are running the asylum: http://catallaxyfiles.com/2017/11/25/stephen-cable-no-matter-the-question-government-is-the-answer/

25/11/2017: A woman who cannot even pronounce her own name is about to win her second Qld election, the only time a woman in Australia has done so. Malcolm has only days left: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2017/11/25/labor-continues-lead-in-queensland-election.html

25/11/2017: Meanwhile, it has been quite cold in Vladivostok: http://www.neatorama.com/2017/11/21/Russian-Traffic-Ice-Ballet/

25/11/2017: Polar bears gather around the carcass of a bowhead whale on the shore of Russia's Wrangel Island:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/content/dam/news/2017/11/23/TELEMMGLPICT000147460648_1_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqXuvy510m4VCeEVDuNKTJKET5c3NAqhpki_eZEplEtM8.jpeg?imwidth=1400

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/24/pictures-day-24-november-2017/polar-bears-gather-around-carcass-bowhead-whale-shore-russias/

25/11/2017: The Remote Wonnangatta, Day Two: Posted Monday night on Facebook: 'Listen to the birdsong: 6:30am Monday morning in one of the most remote spots in Victoria, Wonnangatta River Alpine Nat Park. From Melbourne it would take you 7 1/2 hours by car (1 1/2 of them 4WD) and either a solid day's hiking or 4 hours in a pack raft to get there, but it is worth it! (Another 7 hours paddling and 6 hours driving to get home - 4 for me. I will sleep well tonight...well I did last night actually despite the dingo chorus rolling around the mountains. Trip report here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/pack-rafting-the-remote-wonnangatta/'

[embed]https://youtu.be/zTwhka6fmQM[/embed]

I had to get out at this rapid (about half way between the Moroka and Eaglevale anyway, so I thought i would record it. The sound alone should kindle a desire in your heart to be there yourself:

[embed]https://youtu.be/hQw-WapWdg8[/embed]

As you can see my Pocket Poncho Tent (185 grams) worked a treat, though it did not rain actually. If it had I would have been snug and dry. There was ample room for myself and all my gear scattered around the edges. I could manage to not touch the top or sides so my sleeping bag stayed dry, though there was of course the normal condensation you get from the inside of the shelter being warmer than the outside.There is nothing to be done about 'dew point'. It is a physical reality - but you don't need a double skinned tent (or all the weight). A simple tarp like this (and a Polycro groundsheet - at 46 grams) is quite adequate: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-ground-sheet/)

My breakfast view.  There is certainly plenty of firewood here - which I find very sad. The two big fires which came through here back about 2008-9 killed vast numbers of trees (and even vaster numbers of animals and birds). This fire-killed wood is now dropping everywhere (you have to be careful where you camp) and blocking up the river awfully in places. Curiously, it burns not unlike pine. All the goodness has been 'cooked' out of it somehow. A small pile of wood which used to last you overnight is now replaced with about a trailer load's worth (which does not). Morning and night the well-nigh deafening echoing valleys of morning and evensong are mostly silent. Along the rivers the birds are starting to come back, as the video - well the audio actually above illustrates.

About to set out - looking up towards the top flat.

And downstream.And off I go again!Mt von Guerard Creek confluence - notice the tiny waterfall. Just below here there used to be a giant log jam I guess an acre tor two) which made for a very difficult portage. It persisted for 30+ years I guess. Eventually the river changed its course!

Looking back at the beginning of the bottom flat.

Rounding the bottom flat.

There is a bit of a rocky run below the bottom flat (and below the small flat below it).

Looking back up river in the deep pool above the small flat.

It's a great pool isn't it? I have eaten a few trout out of this one, I can tell you!As I said there is another rocky run below the small flat.

Lots of dragons:

And I am at Mt Darling Creek confluence.

Looking downstream from Mt Darling Creek, looking upstream.

At Mt Darling confluence: Look at this. I was there about six weeks ago and some guy had purloined an old tent (and other things) I had wrapped in a garden bag and hidden under a tree to shelter all his possessions with. He had also bagsed my campsite which I had long ago cleared - and burned my gathered firewood. And it it still just the same - but no-one around. This is apart from having made use of the walking track I had cleared - to this point. Now it is just his campsite alone apparently (and I will have to make another, a more discreet one for myself). Usually I expect more civilised conduct in the bush, but yobbos get everywhere nowadays! How many dozens of times I have camped here. I should have left him a note, except I don't really want to know him.

There is another rocky race below Mt Darling, then a nice little rapid.

The Snowy Bluff looms on your right.

There is a huge deep pool on a left hand corner. What monstrous fish it harbours. The river does a big remote loop to the left then.

The deer have been wallowing right in the river on this loop!

Coming out of the loop into straighter, deeper sections.And soon I have come to the Moroka confluence! At about 4 1/2 hours from Hernes Spur I am a bit over half way to Eaglevale.

Another view looking up the Moroka. What a splendid little river and an excellent trout stream it is...but that is for another day!

Looking upstream to Moroka Glen (road's end). I forgot to take a snap of it as I passed.

Time for a spot of lunch under a shady tree - actually there are not so many of these since the parks vandals removed all the willows - and all but destroyed the river. Given enough time they will destroy all our public lands! There is going to be a lot of work for such as you and me replanting all those willows and poplars!

Off again. Another tree down across the river.

And my signature finger again.

Look at this mighty granite extrusion. What awesome cataclysms there have been in the past. I'm glad I wasn't standing here when this happened. It looks like a mighty alien spaceship has crashed into the earth, and coalesced.

The view from behind it.

If you scan this bare hillside you will discern innumerable animal paths. Della and I camped here once (see the lovely beach around the bend in the next shot). This bare face was just opposite us. A deer honked at us loudly for nearly an hour from right in the middle of this clear hillside, yet neither of us was able to make it out at all. They are such geniuses at using the slightest bit of cover to disguise themselves!

Great beach isn't it - and what a swimming hole!

I just love this wonderful syncline too. Earth in upheaval!

Another fine beach.

And another syncline.

And yet another log jam. Thank goodness the pack raft only weighs a bit over 2 kg.

looking back at the confluence of the Sugarloaf Creek. We are now adjacent to private land all the way to Eaglevale (approx the last two hours).

Willows would once (not long ago) have held this bank together.

Now the farmer's brand new fence is being swept away every time the river rises. You have to feel sorry for these mountain cattlemen. The statists and bureaucrats have stolen their mountain grazing leases. Now they have stolen their river banks and forced them to fence them off even though (with the willows gone) that will most definitely not work. I do so love government! I would love it to death actually. Perhaps like Oscar Wilde's Kings and Priests (the last of one he hoped to live to see strangled with the gizzards of the last of the other) I will live to see the last Government disappear from the earth - 'not with a bang but a whimper' - as T.S.Elliot said in 'The Waste Land'. Or maybe not. it is awfully triumphant everywhere just now!

The greenery here attests to the benefits of phosphorus.

The first swing bridge.

The old pump and the new. The new will not last a smidgeon that the old has. Eventually the farmer will be reinstating the mill - when the solar gibberish expires!

A delightful brace of spur-winged plovers takes flight.

Another great wall. And observe the contrail. Other folks are out and about exploring the world too - in their own way! I would rather be here.

At last, after another hour, the Eaglevale Bridge.

See Also:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/pack-rafting-the-remote-wonnangatta/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/remote-wonnangatta-day-two/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-wonnangatta-spring/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-wonnangatta-spring-day-two/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-wonnagatta-spring-day-three/

Section 1: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-kingwell-bridge-to-black-snake-creek/

Section 2: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-black-snake-to-hut-creek/

Section 3: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-hut-creek-to-waterford-bridge/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/canoe-wonnangatta/

For River Heights: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/canoeing-the-wonnangatta-catching-the-wave/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/pack-rafting-the-wonnangatta-mitchell/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/videos/dawn-surprise-rapid-wonnangatta-river-australia-day-2017/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-waterford-to-angusvale-day-one/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-waterford-to-angusvale-day-two/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-waterford-to-angusvale-day-three/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/videos/canoe-wonnangatta-the-movie/

24/11/2017: Incredible: Bearded Dragons Are Dumber Because of Climate Change: ‘Somehow dragons survived for millions of years, across millions of square kilometers, through ice ages, asteroid impacts and far hotter periods. The real problem today is that legally Dragons are not permitted to move territory, dig deeper nests, find shadier trees, or selectively promote their smarter offspring without losing welfare benefits.’ http://joannenova.com.au/2017/11/climate-change-will-make-bearded-dragons-dumber/

24/11/2017: Amara’s Law: Interesting: ‘we tend to overestimate the impact of a new technology in the short run, but we underestimate it in the long run…. We expect too much of an innovation in the first ten years and too little in the first 20, but get it about right at 15. ‘http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/amaras-law/

24/11/2017: Pack Rafting the Remote Wonnangatta, Day 1: Suppose you didn't have two 4WDs, or a 4WD at all...Nonetheless, could you hitch a 4WD ride to the Wonnangatta Station so you could pack raft the Upper Wonnangatta from the Humffray Confluence to Eaglevale? Sure Can! (Fridays afternoons or) Saturday mornings are definitely the best option. If you are there early, within an hour a veritable convoy will come along with lots of empty seats heading your way. Cars have to come to a virtual standstill to negotiate the difficult river crossing, so if you park your car under a shady conveniently located tree right next to the crossing and wait, looking forlorn and hopeful, someone will be sure to take pity on you. I did it last Sunday (as I was delayed by a day) and had to wait a whole hour.

Given that the drive each way (Eaglevale-Hernes Spur) is 1 1/2 hours (and you would normally need two 4WD vehicles, leaving one at the Wombat or Hernes Spur and taking the other one in later to pick it up), this still saved hours of driving for two drivers - and of course it meant I could do the trip by myself. (Eaglevale is approximately 6 hours from Melbourne. (Take the left turn off the Dargo Road onto the Wonnangatta Road after you pass the Waterford Bridge and Guy's Caravan Park - last fuel/ice). As I was by myself, there was no other way to do it save walking up the river (from Moroka Glen) and canoeing back - a couple of  grueling days in the heat - by which time the water (such as it was) would have been gone!

Two lovely young blokes from Traralgon graciously gave me a lift on their first (fishing) trip into the Wonnangatta. I doubt it will be their last. They were good company too - but my last company for the remainder of the trip, as I prefer it anyway. They headed down the Wombat Spur (Humffray Confluence), so I had two extra hours paddling - as it turned out (compared with putting in at the Hernes Spur). Still, I experienced  the entire navigable section of the river.

And here they are (with their Jeep) at the Wombat Spur crossing. What a lovely day it is:

I will split the post in two - as there are lots of photographs - so you can imagine a night spent regaling yourself by the river, rocked to sleep by the murmur of the river on its bars - after dining on fresh-caught trout, lullabied by the returning evening chorus, etc. The photos are in order to give you an impression of the totality of the journey. Mostly I will just allow the photos to speak for themselves. There are zillions of spots where you can pull out and make a delightful camp. I have included a couple of video clips to give you a better 'feel' for the experience. These are not professional productions.

There are around seven road crossings of the Wonnangatta between the Wombat and Hernes Spurs. If you have made a mistake and there is just definitely not enough water you can pull out and hitch back from Hernes Spur. On the other hand, this section (though quite nice) takes about two hours, so if you are in a hurry, you might walk the distance in half that time and save yourself an hour by beginning at Hernes Spur (supposing you were dropped off at the Wombat Spur). If you were camped in the vicinity you could take turns doing trips between the two tracks Wombat/Hernes) and maybe doing a spot of fishing. I simply paddled on...

This is my rig. I have an Alpacka 'Fiord Explorer', an Aqua Bound paddle, my old Zpacks Blast pack with its Gossamer Gear Airbeam pad (they have been a lot of places with me). Inside is three days food, my Pocket Poncho Tent, my take-down .308 BLR - all the gear I need. Something like this: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-gorilla-in-the-hand/ There would be plenty of room for a small dog (who remonstrated with me about being left out, I can assure you!), but you just can't count on hitch-hiking with a dog!

There does not look as if there is quite enough water at the crossing...

But, maybe...I will give it a 'go' anyway:

It soon gets better.

All along the trip you have to watch out for log jams and log overhangs.

The rapids are only ever Grade 1 - perhaps the odd Grade 2. But you need to watch out: there are lots of submerged rocks.

There are lots of great fishing spots - and zillions of tasty trout. Sorry about my finger in the snap below - a signature thing actually!

Lots of pretty beaches...

So much fire-killed timber. Be careful how you negotiate overhangs like this one.

Many 'welcome' little guys like this which nest under the bank overhangs along the river.

Be careful how you approach things like this. Plenty of folk have died under such logs.

Here is the Hernes Spur crossing. If you go past this point without intending to, you will have a long paddle (over 8 hours more) - or a very long walk back!

Plenty of dragons watch you pass.

You would have to get out for this one. This is where a pack raft comes into its own. Simply unclip the pack, swing it on, pick up the raft in one hand, the paddle in the other as a walking stick, and off you go:

This duck imagines she is hiding.

Great fishing hole!

Coming up to the top flat (right). One hour from Hernes Spur.

Looking upstream from the top flat.

Just a couple more bends. Say half an hour...

Here is a little video just to give you a feel for the sights and sounds of being on the river. This was taken between Wombat and Hernes Spur:

[embed]https://youtu.be/iHTlSW8Jpm8[/embed]

And I spot a pleasant camp on the true left bank just above Mt von Guerard Creek. Put yourself in this picture perhaps (my pocket poncho tent looks very nice in that scenario doesn't it?):

Like this:

Here is another little video to give you a feeling for the beauty/tranquillity of the spot I camped in and some idea of how the morning chorus has returned:

[embed]https://youtu.be/OTkP1KUOq7I[/embed]

As I did not launch until 1:30 pm, I had one short day (3 1/2 hours) and one longer one (7 hours). If you were at Eaglevale at 7:00 am, you would probably be putting in to the river by 9:30 am, so you might camp somewhere between Mt Darling Creek and the Moroka Confluence - to split the journey roughly in two. I camped about half way between the top and bottom flats, around about Mt Von Guerard Creek. If you were doing the trip over three days, this would be good. The second night you would camp say about an hour below the Moroka confluence/Moroka Glen.

View of the Snowy Bluff on the Wonnangatta River 1864 by Eugene von Guerard (this would have been painted in the vicinity of Mt von Guerard), at the top of Mt von Guerard Creek, at the confluence of which I camped (below):

Times: (please note this is with the minimum navigable gauge height and if you are nearly 70 - you may be quicker - or slower) but this will give you some idea. These are actual paddling times, not counting time spent being stargazy, eating, swimming, fishing, hunting etc. Humffray confluence/Wombat Spur track to Hernes Spur: two hours; Hernes Spur to top flat 1 hour; top flat to bottom flat 1 hour; bottom  flat to Mt Darling Creek 1 hour; Mt Darling Creek to Moroka Confluence/Moroka Glen (add ten minutes) 1 1/2 hours; Moroka Glen to first swing bridge 3 hours; first swing bridge to (second) Eaglevale swing bridge 1 hour; thus Moroka Glen to Eaglevale 4 hours.Totals: Humffray River to Eaglevale: 10 1/2 hours; Hernes Spur to Eaglevale: 8 1/2 hours.

This trip can be done in two days, but would be better over three - or more! If the river heights are suitable and you drive to Eaglevale on Friday night and camp so that you go in with the first vehicles on Saturday morning - o9r even on the Friday night (you can pitch a tent on the true right bank below the Hernes Spur crossing - get well back between the trees so no-one runs over you in the dark), you can be back to Eaglevale on Sunday afternoon with enough time to drive home again! It is likely that someone else who is going in on Saturday morning will be camped at Eaglevale on a Friday night, so you can maybe arrange your lift over a couple of cold ones!

Gauge Heights: This is hard to judge. For a reasonable trip, I would recommend a gauge height of 1.8 metres at Waterford which is probably about 1.5 metres at Crooked River. The gauge had been much lower than this (1.75/1.42) but there had been over 10 mm of rain on Thursday night. Ideally I should have left on Friday/Saturday morning and 'caught the wave'. A steady supply of water would be better, but in the summer months, don't count on it. I would like to have spent more days, but the water was quickly disappearing. As it was I had some walking to do! I estimate the gauge heights were about 1.78 at Waterford and about 1.46 at Crooked River - but falling!

See Also:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/pack-rafting-the-remote-wonnangatta/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/remote-wonnangatta-day-two/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-wonnangatta-spring/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-wonnangatta-spring-day-two/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-wonnagatta-spring-day-three/

Section 1: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-kingwell-bridge-to-black-snake-creek/

Section 2: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-black-snake-to-hut-creek/

Section 3: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-hut-creek-to-waterford-bridge/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/canoe-wonnangatta/

For River Heights: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/canoeing-the-wonnangatta-catching-the-wave/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/pack-rafting-the-wonnangatta-mitchell/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/videos/dawn-surprise-rapid-wonnangatta-river-australia-day-2017/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-waterford-to-angusvale-day-one/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-waterford-to-angusvale-day-two/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-waterford-to-angusvale-day-three/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/videos/canoe-wonnangatta-the-movie/

23/11/2017: Political Correctness has now become even more tyrannical. Now it is not acceptable even to be neutral. We should just give up funding academia. I’m sure that would shake them up a bit: http://davidthompson.typepad.com/davidthompson/2017/11/the-absurd-and-the-sinister-arent-mutually-exclusive.html

 

23/11/2017: Anti-matter in lightning storms: The universe sure is a weird place. Now this might be an interesting alternative renewable energy source: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/11/22/discovery-lightning-creates-anti-matter-in-our-atmosphere/

22/11/2017: Ultralight Ground Sheet:  If you are sensible and don’t use a tent, but instead sleep under a nice airy tarp, you may nonetheless want to protect your bottom and other expensive equipment with a ground sheet. As I have mentioned before a mylar space blanket (at about 50 grams) is good enough for this and does double duty by keeping you warm in an emergency – also good for your day pack when you go for a stroll away from your camp to check out that waterfall, rare orchid or monstrous stag, etc.

Another leading contender is a Polycro ground sheet. This is much tougher stuff than 'normal' plastic film such as painter's drop cloths, etc. You can buy them from Gossamer Gear here: https://www.gossamergear.com/products/polycryo-tent-footprint-ground-cloths for US$8.46 for two (Nov 2017) or you can make your own with supplies from eg Bunnings, such as this: https://www.bunnings.co.nz/3m-window-insulator-kit-5-windows_p00167658 or this: 3M Indoor Window Insulator Kit, 5-Window You get a heap of sticky tape too which might come in handy for repairs of some sort.

As you can see Milo and Spot like it too!

Gossamer Gear’s Specs (above) are as follows: Size 40 x 96 in / 102 x 244 cm 46 grams each. You can even make a transparent fly tarp (which might be cool) or tent out of this stuff if you want, as eg here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/transparent-tarp-instructions/ For a groundsheet the .75 mil material is adequate (and lighter). I like the see-through9Ness) of it actually. It really helps with finding those 'lost' small objects you dropped just now!

An equivalent piece of silpoly or silnylon, say the 1 oz/yd2 stuff would be under 4 ounces, say110 grams but would last much longer. I have been using a piece  .8 oz/yd2 spinnaker cloth for a number of years, something like this: https://www.gossamergear.com/collections/shelters/products/groundsheet which weighs 2,7 ounces or 76 grams. Diminsions: 90" / 228.5 cm long by 40" / 101.5 cm wide and costs US$40 (Nov 2017).

You could purchase 2.1 metres of silpoly material (that's enough for a double sheet ie 7' x 5' - 2.1 x 1.5 metres). It does not need hemming (that's why it's called 'Ripstop') and will last you many years. The 'dark Olive' is a nice colour. http://www.tiergear.com.au/11/products/xenon-sil-11 It costs $A11.95/metre - so your groundsheet will cost $A25

PS: This is the fabric my Pocket Poncho tent is made from. It blends in very nicely in the woods, I think. Even the deer did not notice it! See: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/pack-rafting-the-remote-wonnangatta/

 

22/11/2017: Can You Pass This 8th Grade Mental Arithmetic Exam from 1922? I actually found this easy, but I was brought up with it…I really like the comment though by former New York teacher of the year John Taylor Gatto: ‘If you put fleas in a shallow container they jump out. But if you put a lid on the container for just a short time, they hit the lid trying to escape and learn quickly not to jump so high. They give up their quest for freedom. After the lid is removed, the fleas remain imprisoned by their own self-policing. So it is with life. Most of us let our own fears or the impositions of others imprison us in a world of low expectations.’  http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/article/can-you-pass-8th-grade-mental-arithmetic-quiz-1922

22/11/2017: 20%. Why Britain is booming, and America will too. Here we slug businesses 30%. Why should they pay taxes at all when everyone already pays income taxes, GST, capital gains, etc? They should be rewarded if anything for having performed such worthy social purposes as they already do.

22/11/2017: Black Thursday 7 February 1851, quite possibly Victoria’s hottest day on record: http://joannenova.com.au/2013/10/heat-and-fires-from-when-co2-was-ideal-black-thursday-stories-from-1851/

21/11/2017: Mal’s solution to the ‘problem’ I identified back on the 5th and 8th November (ie that the Govt would not have a majority at the next sitting on 27 November)…cancel Parliament as Charles 1 did (and lost his head – which came first?) Why, Oh Why, did you axe Tony Abbott and replace him with this buffoon? Tony had an historic majority (and would have still), and a recipe for fixing our benighted country…now we have a carbon tax again, vast debts and the problem of the Manus ‘refugees’…and can look forward to three years of Shorten. ‘Poor fellow, my country’.

18/11/2017: A Wonnagatta Spring, Day Three: From Neates Track down to the Kingwell Bridge takes about 2 1/2 hours paddling. If you put in at the riverside camp just above Neates track it would take three hours. This would be a pleasant excursion if you were camped there. Mostly this section travels through farmland but as with much of the river, it does not intrude except sometimes (as in the case of the giant elms etc) to impart a sense of other-wordly beauty and majesty. Indeed the whole trip could be split into three pleasant day trips. The two sections above this would be: Eaglevale to Bullock Flat and Bullock Flat to the campground above Neates Track. Each would probably be about 3-4+ hours.

Here we are once again setting out:

Once again it is a superb Spring morning.

The river fairly glows with vitality and beauty.

This is the kind of log which would flip you out. You might not get round the inside of it. A little later on a similar log, I did not - and the two dogs and myself had a pleasant swim!

Just as we were about to come out into a view of the large clear hill on the right where the old Telstra facility used to be, there was a tiny finger of bush between the road and the river - i guess no more than 1/2 an acre. Spot began barking, wanting to jump from one canoe to the other, jump into the river, onto the bank... Of course we were snapping back at him. Then two very large sambar hinds ran regally across our path not thirty yards ahead of us. Far too quickly unfortunately for me to get my camera out and get a snap of them. Worse luck! Bizarrely enough I had managed to flip myself out on a branch just up the river and I had managed to set my camera to video mode, so I have an audio record of him barking. I had even taken my camera out of my pocket just seconds before this, realised that it was recording switched it off and slipped it back into my pocket, just after this excerpt. If I had just kept videoing for another 20 seconds I would have had a beautiful piece of film...

[video width="1440" height="1080" mp4="http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/20171115094849.mp4"][/video]

Some more of that strange ochre staining just past the spot where the deer disappeared onto the left bank.

Even in death this old gum imparts a wanton beauty.

The murmur of immemorial elms:

Don't these beautiful European trees really dress a river up a treat. There should definitely be many more of them. Bring back the willows!

The Crooked River suspension bridge.

Crooked River confluence.

Still the odd pleasant rapid.

A lovely beach just up ahead. Time for 'elevenses'.

What a fine little beach.

I guess that's Conways Track winding up the hill above the flock of wood ducks.

I guess this old guy will be in the river before long - worse luck. The willows had saved it for generations, but a couple of floods, and down it goes!

Just about the last rapid - Della is looking quite expert here.

Finally the Kingwell Bridge hoves into sight.

It was a lovely trip spoiled only by these two things: seeing that hoons had just about burned down Gee's Hut at the Black Snake Creek which had been lovingly restored only recently (only to be shot full of holes - as also was the public toilet there) within about two weeks. Really, a passport ought to be a required before they let such folks out of the cities!

And this: on the main road just out of Iguana Creek someone had shot a large stag in their car's headlights and cut off its head with a chainsaw. Such expert hunting. Mind you, it had made a fine meal for this other bush predator:

See Also:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-wonnangatta-spring/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-wonnangatta-spring-day-two/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-wonnagatta-spring-day-three/

Section 1: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-kingwell-bridge-to-black-snake-creek/

Section 2: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-black-snake-to-hut-creek/

Section 3: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-hut-creek-to-waterford-bridge/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/canoe-wonnangatta/

For River Heights: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/canoeing-the-wonnangatta-catching-the-wave/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/pack-rafting-the-wonnangatta-mitchell/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/videos/dawn-surprise-rapid-wonnangatta-river-australia-day-2017/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-waterford-to-angusvale-day-one/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-waterford-to-angusvale-day-two/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-waterford-to-angusvale-day-three/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/videos/canoe-wonnangatta-the-movie/

18/11/2017: You wouldn’t want to be standing under this huge meteor. Scroll to about 23 seconds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=36&v=iDhoHpSJEQE

18/11/2017:  ‘Milton Friedman once joked that if you put the government in charge of the Sahara Desert in five years there would be a shortage of sand. He could have been talking about Venezuela and its oil wealth. But it is no joke. …Socialism always goes bust eventually for the same reason Ponzi schemes always go bust: It’s a scam, not an economic model. All the pretty promises are just to keep the marks off guard.’ https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/280950/

18/11/2017: The Gene Drive could eradicate introduced pests – but should we use it? https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/11/new-zealand-predator-free-2050-rats-gene-drive-ruh-roh/546011/ PS: Next trip to NZ ‘Zealandia’ is a must see!

17/11/2017: A Wonnangatta Spring, Day Two: Very little rain was forecast for the three days - and very little fell. We were however treated during the night to that beautiful brooding, ominous rolling booming of thunderstorms clawing their way across the faces of the mountains, and to the mysterious comings and goings of the cervine denizens to their wallow not twenty yards away. I have picked out the best 40 or so of a couple of hundred snaps I took during the six lazy hours we were paddling on the second day. We ended up camped just below the twin bridges of Neates Track, again on a lovely grassy verge where a small stream entered the river on the true left bank. The snaps are in order, so mostly I will just allow them to reveal this wonderful river to you.

Leaving camp:

Lots of pebble races. We often had to get out at 1.75 metres. It would have been better at 1.8, but still possible at 1.70.

Duck Della.

Getting side on to a log like this would have you out too. Beware.

There were lots of these white moths feeding the many trout the river supports. Anglers take note. The river also supports carp near as big as your legs. Maybe there will be man-eaters here in the future?

The PC brigade cleared out the wonderful, beautiful willows which held the banks together. As a consequence they are falling in everywhere and the river is getting shallower and shallower - getting silted up. Replanting them will be a lot of work, but it must be done! Take a few green willow wands with you on every trip.

This little guy was in a desperate hurry to get out of sight!

Large gums are being undercut and falling - here blocking the river completely. Especially at higher levels you have to keep your eyes peeled. If you were stuck under one of these you would be a goner!

We had to climb out onto them (there were three altogether), heave the boats on top, then  tumble back into them on the other side. Chose a slack bit of water for this maneuver.

Tiny waits patiently.

What a great sky!

There are lots of lovely beaches for lunch or a snack.

This was a pretty good spot too.

Everywhere you look: postcard perfect!

I couldn't resist posting these two snaps of a wood duck. I only wished the camera had focused a little better on its flight.

Who'd have thought though that s/he took three jumps off the water in the blink of an eye!

Visual porn.

A lovely old swing bridge at Neates Track. 

Apparently you are supposed to avoid this lens rainbowing - but I love it! What a great idea for a vehicular bridge. There definitively should be more of these.

Again, a lovely grassy camp on the left bank 100 metres downstream from the bridge.

Della found this interesting deer head. She will restore its flesh with felt. An interesting trophy it will become.

A beautiful spot to camp. Stay well clear of the large gums though.

See Also:http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-wonnangatta-spring/

Section 1: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-kingwell-bridge-to-black-snake-creek/

Section 2: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-black-snake-to-hut-creek/

Section 3: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-hut-creek-to-waterford-bridge/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/canoe-wonnangatta/

For River Heights: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/canoeing-the-wonnangatta-catching-the-wave/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/pack-rafting-the-wonnangatta-mitchell/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/videos/dawn-surprise-rapid-wonnangatta-river-australia-day-2017/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-waterford-to-angusvale-day-one/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-waterford-to-angusvale-day-two/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-waterford-to-angusvale-day-three/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/videos/canoe-wonnangatta-the-movie/

17/11/2017: The Senate ‘system’ is a joke: This bloke is only there because folks voted for Pauline in droves while he received 19 votes , yet she has not say over his conduct. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-13/hanson-says-anning-has-abandoned-one-nation/9144142

17/11/2017: It is so hard to keep track of the origins of the influences which inform our opinions, nay our truisms. An example: it was the Marxist historian Gordon Childe who ‘invented’ the ‘Neolithic Revolution’, a ‘fact’ which I had not questioned until recently. In so doing, he had drawn parallels with the ‘Industrial Revolution’ (which I must also reprise soon) and had created a narrative of the human story (which like the ideal of ‘progress’ for example) is wholly false, apparently. The discoveries at Gobeki Tepe, Jerf el Ahmar, Wadi Faynan, etc, etc undo the sequence of events in our prehistory underlining eg the certainty that culture takes precedence over necessity (thus overturning a fundamental tenet of leftist social studies curricula of the last 30 (?) years which have taught two generations at least that the essential human necessities are first & in order: air, water, food, shelter…) In these astonishing sites we see that prehistoric hunters were constructing (Palaeolithic) monuments long before the invention of farming, so that clearly culture takes precedence over all else in the human mind: an adamantine fact which policy makers everywhere need to cleave to, utterly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe

16/11/2017: A Wonnangatta Spring, Day One: Finding just the right conjunction of time, three days of delightful spring weather and enough water to make the river canoeable is harder now than it was before the bushfires years ago when the river height was over 1.8 metres on the Waterford gauge all summer. Now it rarely is. Last winter was quite dry so there have been few days when we had time, where the river has been at this height and the weather suitable - but the last three days looked auspicious, and even though there were only 1.75 metres on the gauge we thought we should try it before the opportunity was gone for yet another summer.

This section of river is Eagelevale around 25km down to the Kingwelll Bridge along the Wonnagatta Road (2WD). At this height we spent a little over 10 hours paddling, so it is definitely at least a two day trip (we took three, as you can see) - and it would still be very enjoyable if you took a whole week!

Here we are ready to begin just before the swing bridge at Eaglevale. There is a vast (empty) camping area here (even with a toilet).

There is the bridge just upriver. The ford across the Wonnangatta is just below it. That is where you cross if you are driving in to the Station (which we have done many times). I would not recommend crossing if the water is (much) above 1.8 metres on the Waterford gauge if you value your expensive 4WD. You also need to keep a careful eye on the forecast as it is easy to get trapped on the wrong side of the river (for months even!) and not be able to get your car back across. A friend of mine had his car on the wrong side of the river once for two months - so beware. The Hernes, Wombat and Zeka Spurs are very steep (particularly the first two), can become suicidally slippery after rain and you may not be able to get back up them.

Swing Bridge at Eaglevale:

And off we go. Spot in the lead as usual:

But old Tiny is still going too at 17 1/2! Both dogs look like they are going to enjoy the trip.

I love the granite outcrops, and this evergreen lady.

Mostly this section of the river is just pebble races,so it is quite suitable for children so long as you look out for snags such as log jams and walk around them on the inside edge.

Spot decides we can fit under that one.

This sky is what Della described as 'tenebrous'. What a wonderful vocabulary!

Some places the river is a magical mirror.

Paddling it is great fun though.

Lots of ducks along the river this year. As you paddle along, (you will have to imagine this) the air is just full of birdsong. A hundred different voices raised in a wonderful musical medley. Along this section there are lots of clear private paddocks, (mainly on the true right bank - though you cannot see them from the river, so that it feels like you are enclosed by wilderness) which received some protection from the worst excesses of the terrible wildfires, so that the birdlife in this section is something like what it was before the fires.

Just cruisin'

This shag was so replete s/he could barely fly. It waited always until the very last minute before it lumbered off looking something like 'The Spruce Goose'. I always try to get a snap of a bird taking off. It is awfully hard to do (especially when you are canoeing the river with both hands too) but sometimes you succeed.

And, how good is that:

There are lots of logs you have to watch out for. Sometimes they will occasion a portage.

You do not want to get stuck under one! Tiny agrees.

More of that tenebrous sky!

From where we live (10 km from Morwell) it is approximately a 3 1/2 hour drive (safely) to get to Eaglevale. You turn off just after you cross the Waterford Bridge (on the Dargo Road) at Guy's Caravan Park and head up the Wonnangatta Road (one of my all-time favourites). It is nearly an hour and a half  to Eaglevale. There are a number of places you can camp along the way, eg: Black Snake Creek, Kingwell Bridge, Bullock Flat and Eaglevale. There are also some places between where you can get down to the river or pull over into the bush.

What this means is that was we were dawdling getting ready and didn't leave Churchill until around midday. It was after three before we were on the river. We spent a leisurely hour and a half paddling. There were lots of other grassy flats where you could camp. We chose this one on the true left bank just before a large granite outcrop. There was a small stream entering on the left which made a little bay or anchorage for our boats - but we pulled them well up on the bank - as I have been caught out by flash-floods before.

What a delightful little grassy spot amongst the black wattles. Behind Della and Spot is the small stream I mentioned. It had quite a number of deer wallows in it.

We washed our breakfast dishes about 100 yards above our camp just above this interesting feature. We saw two places on the river like this where iron compounds were staining the rocks with ochre.

Spot inspects the cleanliness of our dishes.

There is our tent way along there. Plenty of room for a dozen tents, but we would have been somewhere else in that event!

Here is Della checking out the wallows for cast antlers. She has lots of crafty projects to use them on.

And here she is next morning setting out again from our little harbour.

See Also:

Section 1: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-kingwell-bridge-to-black-snake-creek/

Section 2: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-black-snake-to-hut-creek/

Section 3: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-hut-creek-to-waterford-bridge/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/canoe-wonnangatta/

For River Heights: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/canoeing-the-wonnangatta-catching-the-wave/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/pack-rafting-the-wonnangatta-mitchell/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/videos/dawn-surprise-rapid-wonnangatta-river-australia-day-2017/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-waterford-to-angusvale-day-one/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-waterford-to-angusvale-day-two/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/wonnangatta-waterford-to-angusvale-day-three/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/videos/canoe-wonnangatta-the-movie/

13/11/2017: Moose Hunting Pack: Just in case you really need an indestructible 93 litre pack which will carry 40 kg (100lb) plus a moose and weigh only 1.25 kg. Personally I couldn’t resist the photo. That (by the way) is an Alpacka pack raft, most likely the Fiord Explorer model, their 'moose boat'! If you haven’t got one, you are seriously deprived.

Here for example are Della and I canoeing the Wonnagatta in ours: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/pack-rafting-the-wonnangatta-mitchell/

In a similar vein, if you are interested in moose hunting (in the Antipodes), you might enjoy this: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-lure-of-the-moose/

It does look a nice pack, doesn't it?

Details here: https://seekoutside.com/divide-4500-ultralight-backpack/ usually US349 (Nov 2017) You need a Xmas present, surely?

Available on Massdrop this morning )12/11/2017) for US299 https://www.massdrop.com/buy/seek-outside-unaweep-divide?1=1&utm_placement=0&referer=EJ89BQ&mode=guest_open&utm_campaign=Automated%20Daily%20Promotional%202017-11-11&utm_source=SparkPost&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Daily%20Promotional&utm_content=1510397336979.968917496224031815359828

And Della really looks to be enjoying herself on the Wonnangatta, doesn't she? We will do this again very soon:

See: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/pack-rafting-the-wonnangatta-mitchell/

13/11/2017: This from the world’s greatest living physicist: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/11/10/freeman-dyson-on-heretical-thoughts-about-global-warmimg/ and this showing an unbelievable waste of $58 trillion on this madness: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/11/10/delingpole-58-trillion-290-apollo-programs-to-combat-climate-change-this-is-beyond-a-joke/

 

12/11/2017: It was also MUCH hotter in 1896 than anything we have experienced post WW2: http://joannenova.com.au/2012/11/extreme-heat-in-1896-panic-stricken-people-fled-the-outback-on-special-trains-as-hundreds-die/

 

12/11/2017: Who would have thought: "a Christian...steals, rapes, and kills children?” I'm not very keen on any of these religos, but the persecution of 200 million Christians worldwide IS despicable - and particularly as it is largely done at the behest of the religion of 'peace'. Mind you, those of you who were so ignorant of history as to think Buddhists were immune to religious excesses must be eating your words when you see what they have been up to in Burma. It would be nice to see the end of all religions, but I doubt I will see it. However, it is possible to mimic the religious experience with drugs (one of the Mescalins as I recall), so it may be possible to ‘cure’ the deviant religious mental state with another. I doubt you would get anyone to voluntarily take it though : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9640825/Christians-persecuted-throughout-the-world.html.

 

12/11/2017: University of Lower Education: http://nypost.com/2017/11/08/harvard-hosts-annual-anal-sex-101-class/

11/11/2017: The Big Sky: I loved the classic novel of the same name about the American West by A.B.Guthrie, and I love the tent! You can download the ebook here: https://archive.org/details/TheBigSky_epub but you will have to buy the ultralight tent. Their ‘Wisp’ model recently fell into my hands so I could have a closer look at it – and a play in the garden with Spot and grandson, Milo!

As it came into my hands it weighed 619 grams bare (including the short rear pole). I guess it is expected you will use a hiking pole or a bush pole for the other main support. In fact I found you could use a second (third) pole to create quite a satisfactory verandah, which gives you lots of room to spread out in hot, wet weather, for example - or maybe to sit and watch the fire in colder more inclement times. If it is seriously raining and blowing it will shut down into an impregnable watertight mode.

I added all the extra guys you could ever need. The tent comes with lots of extra tie-out points. It can be erected with just 8 shepherd’s hook pegs but can be secured against the “Roaring Forties’ with a total of 17, if you wish. With the added guys and the micro line locks it now weighs 650 grams (probably with a bit of grass and dirt from my boots still attached), and is as you can see a bit smaller than a large soft drink bottle.

It goes up very easily with no fiddling around adjusting things, and is immediately taut. Once it is up (if it is secured with all those extra guys), nothing is going to shift it. Of course it has an excellent bathtub floor big enough for your mattress, pack and lots of spreading out - and commodious insect netting.

Milo checks out the verandah - Yep, big enough for a boy or two!

Plenty of room to stretch out with all your gear - and a dog. There is a largish net pocket to stow your overnight necessities such as glasses, torch, hearing aids, ebook, etc. Above my head (below) you can see a loop of yellow spectra I would hang my torch from so i could see to cook, read etc.

There is even room for a couple of friends to come sit and visit.

Spot thinks it is swell anyway, and can't wait to get away up the bush. Milo checks that it is all secure.

Plenty of tie-outs for the roughest weather.

It has two triangular vents at the peak which are held open with short light props secured with velcro - a top idea, which I will copy!

The short end pole slips into a hidden channel and is secured by a piece of webbing and velcro.

This will be an excellent one person hiking, fishing, hunting tent. It is intelligently thought out and extremely well-made. I would not hesitate to recommend it. I would mark two arrows with a texta, perhaps on the doorway so that I could set up my hiking pole exactly the right length (or break a bush stick) so that the tent just goes up: Snap! The tent is also available in cuben if you have a large wallet. In that material it only weighs 300 grams: http://bigskyproducts.com/big-sky-wisp-1p-trekking-pole-tent-lightest-weight.aspx

It is available in Melbourne from my favourite store: https://backpackinglight.com.au/ for A$359 (Nov 2017).

PS: 'Big Sky' is also a classic 1952 film starring Kirk Douglas - one of my favourites! There are five books altogether in Guthrie's sequence (the Big Sky deals with the Mountain Men): next is The Way West, then Fair Land, Fair Land. Others in the series are: These Thousand Hills, Arfive and The Last Valley. ‘The Way West’ is available here: https://openlibrary.org/works/OL2944434W/The_way_west - an interesting resource.

11/11/2017: Keep on Hiking: https://www.outsideonline.com/2255056/82-year-old-broke-appalachian-trail-age-record

 

11/11/2017: A Sombre warning from Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-59): ‘A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years...When the taste for physical gratifications among them has grown more rapidly than their education...the time will come when men are carried away and lose all self-restraint...It is not necessary to do violence to such a people in order to strip them of the rights they enjoy; they themselves willingly loosen their hold...they neglect their chief business which is to remain their own masters.’

10/11/2017: Mind-boggling! The Extinction of the Australian Pygmies: For a whole variety of reasons: 'The story of human habitation of this continent is not the exclusive property of anyone. It should be the concern of all of us, black and white, to ensure it is told as openly and as truthfully as possible.' https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/history-wars/2002/06/the-extinction-of-the-australian-pygmies/

 

10/11/2017: Who’d have thought – when you fix the thermometers, the warming goes away: ‘This data is from state-of-the-art ultra-reliable triple redundant weather stations placed on pristine environments. As a result, these temperature data need none of the adjustments that plague the older surface temperature networks, such as USHCN and GHCN, which have been heavily adjusted to attempt corrections for a wide variety of biases. Using NOAA’s own USCRN data, which eliminates all of the squabbles over the accuracy of and the adjustment of temperature data, we can get a clear plot of pristine surface data.’ Trend = 0.6 ± 0.9 °C/decade, p-value = 0.31, far from significant. Source: NCDC National Temperature Index time series plotter

 

https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/uscrn-2005-2017.png?w=720

 

10/11/2017: More compulsory acquisition without compensation. Whatever happened to our constitutional protection of private property rights? : http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/hepburn-shires-push-to-lock-up-land/news-story/64277e497d518f0fc0bcb9f884391efd

 

09/11/2017:

http://catallaxyfiles.com/2017/11/07/the-russian-revolution-100-years-ago-today/

 

09/11/2017: Never Lose Your Hearing Aids Again: After playing around for some time with some Dyneema fishing line and a micro cord lock to secure my hearing aids when I am in the bush or canoeing (which by the way worked well) I am delighted to learn there is a commercial alternative which whilst not so secure, is a lot simpler. These devices are called: Hearing Aid Oto Clips A couple of examples: https://adcohearing.com/categories/clips-and-loss-prevention and https://www.amazon.com/OtoClips-BTE-ITE-Hearing-Aids/dp/B00YCK55E0 Try an Ebay search for ‘hearing aid clips’. They are usually less then $10.

 

As you can see these devices only attach the two aids together, which certainly makes them harder to lose – but easier to lose both. For added secrity you could tie a length of dyneema fishing line (or the like) to the two loops with a micro cord lock attached so that you can shorten the line which you would run around your neck.

 

 

See Also:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/securing-hearing-aids/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/zenni-the-hearing-company/

 

09/11/2017: Is There Life After Death? – And the Moon May Be Made of Green Cheese! Well Done Sean Carroll: ‘There's no reason to be agnostic about ideas that are dramatically incompatible with everything we know about modern science.’ https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/physics-and-the-immortality-of-the-soul/

09/11/2017: You may not like Trump (or Tony Abbott) but understand this: ‘For now, there is no one else in the opposition standing in the way of radical progressivism. At best, some not actively promoting progressivism are only begging it to slow down a bit; at worst, the “I told you so” others wish for now progressivism to prevail to demonstrate what happens when the hoi polloi do not listen to their supposed betters.’ https://amgreatness.com/2017/11/06/crossing-the-trump-rubicon/

09/11/2017: Kettle Logic (far too common unfortunately): Freud relates the story of a man who was accused by his neighbour of having returned a kettle in a damaged condition and the three arguments he offers in explanation: That he had returned the kettle undamaged; That it was already damaged when he borrowed it; That he had never borrowed it in the first place. Freud notes that it would have been better if he had only used one.

08/11/2017: Four more down: Five altogether (Joyce out until after Dec 2nd) Hawke, Banks, Frydenberg and Alexander. This means Turnbull does not have a majority when the Parliament sits on 27th November. Clearly Shorten will call a quick election straightaway. (Obviously he is not going to agree to a deal which saves Malcolm!) Abbott will be Opposition leader on 28th November. The election will be held just before Xmas, probably 16th December.

08/11/2017: Adjustable Hammock Ridgeline: A Great Idea: It adds 6 grams to my hammock set-up but improves comfort much more than that by allowing a flatter ‘hang’ – and it allows for somewhere to hang your gear. It works on the same principle as the Whoopie Sling. Genius. I bought mine from this guy for A$16.95 (Nov 2017). http://www.tiergear.com.au/11/products/adjustable-hammock-ridgeline

Mine was red. Here it is in action in the garden with Spot supervising:

A variety of Ridgeline Gear Organisers exist to stow various overnight items in (eg phone, glasses, drink bottle, head torch, hearing aids). For example: http://www.tiergear.com.au/11/products/hammock-storage-systemsand http://www.hammockgear.com/hammock-gear-ridgeline-organizer/

These little guys are very handy too. Just add a mini carabiner: http://www.tiergear.com.au/11/products/prussik-loops-pair

Some other ideas here: https://hennessyhammock.com/pages/tips-from-users-1#

Instructions for DIY here: http://www.tiergear.com.au/25/diy-hammock-ridgeline-organiser

Some other good ideas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqlCvHtSDAM  (better if you place the cordlock inside the loop) & here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2-rfD-VA6s

Shown is my Hummingbird Hammock which weighs a mere 147 grams, and which kept me safe in one of the wettest places on the planet the Dusky Track, Fiordland new Zealand. . I would use this set-up with a lightweight tarp such as this Heron Rain Tarp which weighs 8.6 ounces or 245 grams and costs US$144.95 (Nov 2017) or this Standard Hammock Tarp which weighs 7 ounces or 198 grams and costs US$249!.

You could use either tarp as an on-ground shelter and the hammock as a groundsheet if you wanted to – as I explained here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-ultralight-deer-hunter/

See Also: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hammock-hunting-till-dark/

I have many other posts about hammocking, as a search at the top of the page will reveal.

08/11/2017: Astonishing? ‘By 2001...a chicken reached the weight at which it would be killed in one-third of the time and after eating one-third of the food compared with the 1957 breed...represents...reduction in waste and in the..land devoted to growing feed per chicken’ http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/genetics-bigger-chickens

08/11/2017:  ‘Save the Planet’, the ‘great unwashed’ scream, yet we may have already done so (and by the unlikely means of the Industrial Revolution’). Let me explain: Plants need @ 200ppm of CO2 to survive. If the percentage drops below that (ie .02%) life will pretty much cease – yet the pre-Industrial world tilted perilously close to that. The percentage has varied from upwards of 20,000ppm in the time of the dinosaurs for example, down to just over 200ppm over time, during which warm, tropical periods and ice ages came and went completely uncorrelated to its percentage. However, steadily the percentage of CO2 being liberated by vulcanism and other processes eg from the carboniferous rocks, coal & peat deposits etc where it ‘ultimately’ becomes ‘locked up’, declined until just before the Industrial Revolution its percentage was such that the cessation of life on earth was imminent. The forests shrank and great plains and deserts spread across much of the globe as there was not enough CO2 to build any more forests, and much of life had to retreat to what were really oases to survive. Just in the nick of time (folks of a religious persuasion will see this as predestined) as a result of the Industrial Revolution personkind began to liberate vast quantities of carbon in the form of CO2 and a wonderful profusion of life was the result. The forests spread, the deserts and grasslands retreated and once more a profusion of life saturated the planet: We have added a continent the size of Australia of such greenery in a generation. That is the era we are living in: the Anthropocene. It can only get better! Here you see it: The Greening of Europe: You may remember how the ‘conservationists’ once claimed industrialisation was deforestation, that we were massively clearing land even though Landsat showed exactly the opposite was happening. Here most graphically is the evidence that puts the lie to their alarmism. Capitalism is so good for nature it should be compulsory! Hopefully we can soon be rid of the rest of their greenie nonsense; https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/12/04/watch-how-europe-is-greener-now-than-100-years-ago/#comments

07/11/2017: Dino Paleo Diet: Supposing that the science of ‘Jurassic Park’ becomes a reality (or time travel, ‘The Lost World’, etc – all this is imminent, surely?) we will need to face the important practical and ethical issues of killing and eating dinosaurs. Folk will definitely have to do some hard practice at the Range to ensure their accuracy, as Dino’s vulnerable spots are likely quite hard targets. Your normal .30 calibre hunting rifle (even a .457 magnum really) will just punch pin-prick holes in one of these vast beasties, mostly just drawing its attention to you and making it angry. Though a heart shot might cause it to bleed to death eventually, the fact that its heart is likely larger than a bullock will mean that it will have eaten/trampled you before its demise. A brain shot is best, but its brain is likely about the size of your fist and is way up there, surrounded by bone, so shoot carefully. After you have decked it (just supposing) the vital ethical issues arise: Is it halal or kosher? Can you eat it during Lent, Fridays? Dinosaurs lack the necessary cloven hooves to be amongst the kosher herbivores and even if considered as distant relatives of the birds they lack the extra toe. Similarly aquatic plesiosaurs etc would surely be deemed ‘fish without scales’ & etc. That’s surely a lot of meat going to waste, right there. Leviticus might need to be rewritten (well, anyway!), and you might need to raise the height of your lounge room, as that trophy is going to be really big! Anyway, ‘Happy Hunting!’ http://gawker.com/steven-spielberg-exposed-as-inhumane-dinosaur-hunting-1603549847

07/11/2017: 'The Scam from Snowy River' - this is a very thoughtful piece and goes to show what liars and economic illiterates Greens are: http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2011/10/the-scam-from-snowy-river

07/11/2017: Censorship: Once I was opposed to it when its targets were innocuous publications like ‘Lady Chatterly’ and Tropic of Cancer’…then along came various anarchist/terrorist instruction manuals (beginning with eg ‘The Anarchist’s Cookbook’), but things just got worse and worse. Now, I agree with this lady’s call to remove this publication – although I fear that such opposition may soon, if it is not already, be illegal:  http://moonbattery.com/?p=89456

 

06/11/2017: Turnbull is just nuts: Now he proposes that everyone should bring a note saying it’s OK for them to be in Parliament. Who wouldn’t pass that test? http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2017/11/06/turnbull-announces-citizenship--resolution-.html

 

06/11/2017: A friend I have known for 40 years wrote this yesterday: I reckon I am as Australian as anyone and a Turk and a Moslem as well. Do I need to be an anti islamic racist to be Australian? Is that what it takes? I don't think so.’ This was my reply: It's not about 'race' ‘Mohamed’ . It's about nationality. Our Australian nationality has always been as a descendant of Western civilisation, and especially as a member of the English speaking nations - along with all the huge pluses that involves: democracy, the rule of law, private property, free enterprise, support for the disadvantaged & etc. In contrast the Moslem world is decadent and barbaric. It is worth noting that a single college at Oxford University has produced twice as many Nobel Prize winners as the entire Moslem world, as has Israel. Islam has for nearly fifteen hundred years been at war with the West. Often 'we' (ie the West) have wished it were not so, and made enormous efforts to secure a lasting peace, but always without success. Islam is not a religion alone - with the usual silly beliefs in gods, afterlives, quaint customs, etc. More than anything else it is a political movement (like nazism and communism) whose ultimate goal has ever been world domination, and death to all who oppose it. This war will go on and on until one side or the other is eventually eliminated - or until all its adherents utterly reject the despicable teaching of that evil monster, Mohamed, a man who, if he had committed such crimes in the C20th century anywhere except in the Moslem world, would have been tried as a war criminal by the International Court of Justice and deservedly sentenced to life imprisonment or death. You have clearly chosen which side you are on. It is the wrong side. No nation can long tolerate the presence of Fifth Columnists in its bosom. You have had at least 40 years to chose the right side. As more and more Moslems commit dreadful deeds in the West as they do daily, the public's tolerance will wane. Ultimately it will require that people pledge their support for our society on their life, and wholly recant the obnoxious creed of Islam if they wish to remain amongst us. I would hope that those who will not are offered peaceful repatriation to some Islamic country - there are plenty after all. Islam has enslaved nearly a third of the world! I would not like to see wholesale slaughter as has occurred in the past - nearly always when Islam has prevailed. I might add. the latest opinion polls show 75% of the population are opposed to any further immigration and 50% (already) are opposed to any Moslem immigration! And you are posting anti-Israeli jihadist propaganda. Wake up ‘Mohamed’. You are on the wrong side. Israel is the only pluralist democracy in the Middle east and has long been a friend of Australia. Ditch that awful religion, and your unpatriotic allegiances. A further 25% are undecided. They won't be for long - as the long list of Islamic atrocities continues to grow daily. This, the Fifth Crusade which the Moslems started some time back is the first one in history in which atheists form a large portion of the ‘Christian’ forces, or ‘Crusaders’. What has happened is that both Christians and atheists (and many other folk besides – Jews, homosexuals, etc) face death in any triumph of Moslem hegemony. Politics certainly does make strange ‘bedfellows’!

06/11/2017: It sure was hot in 1932: we have never seen anything like it since. See here: http://www.warwickhughes.com/agri/bird%20deaths%201932.pdf

06/11/2017: If renewables can’t provide cheaper electricity on a small windy island with no cheap competitor, where can it compete? What a rort it always is: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/11/abc-renewables-fantasy-island-farewells-diesel-except-for-40-of-its-power/

06/11/2017: The Saudis have paid to put English language copies of ‘The Noble Quran’ everywhere – at airports, prayer rooms, public libraries, etc. It is an evil text which preaches violent jihad, death and enslavement to any who are not Moslems. Plenty of excerpts here for those who are unconvinced. We must ban and expel this vile creed from Australia – as soon as possible: https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2017/11/noble-quran-calling-violent-jihad-australia/

05/11/2017: Seems like Malcolm is down yet another member this morning. Now Hawke and Frydenberg, who simply cannot play the anti-semitic card to escape. His mother clearly entered Australia on a Hungarian passport. She was born in Hungary (whatever the Nazis tried to do to her) and he had to repudiate his Hungarian citizenship – which he did not. He is dead meat, someone who before he allied himself to the execrable Turnbull I though might one day make a half-decent PM! Liberals and Labor have been doing secret audits for weeks now - what I find surprising is that not one Labor member has been 'outed'. The thing is this: Parliament will soon be sitting. You must command a majority in the House of Reps. With Barnaby out (and he may lose his by-election), the LNP have a majority of one, counting the Speaker. With Frydenberg out, they must rely on one of the independents. With Hawke out as well, they must rely on both (Bob Katter Wow!). If there is a confidence vote at that point, (a member only has to be sick/absent) then Shorten is PM - even if only for an hour. Clearly he rushes to the GG and calls an election being 8% ahead in the polls. The Libs immediately dump Malcolm. Who will they run with during the election campaign? Most up-and-comings won't want to touch the leadership at that point as it would mean they would (likely) never be PM - although Andrew Hastie might win it for them, (as Hawke did against Fraser in a similar scenario) if he aligns with Bernardi and Hanson. I think they will run with Tony in that scenario. He will scrape a few seats which Turnbull has lost back - enough at least to make Shorten a one-term PM. Meanwhile Michael Smith's private prosecution against Gillard draws ever closer. He is going to succeed with this. The evidence has become overwhelming. The cops will not be able to ignore it. That's why he is publishing the evidence every day. It will also destroy Shorten. The Frydenberg document from the National Archives courtesy of Thomas Osburg: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155161213937711&set=a.10152808825502711.1073741825.523332710&type=3&theater

05/11/2017: Things to come…How high can it go: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2017/11/04/surge-of-support-in-qld-for-one-nation--poll.html

05/11/2017: Some chicks are nuts: Oh? Yeah: Andrea Dworkin, ‘Woman Hating’: ‘The incest taboo does the worst work of the culture: it teaches us the mechanisms of repressing and internalizing erotic feeling…The destruction of the incest taboo is essential to the development of cooperative human community based on the free-flow of natural androgynous eroticism…The incest taboo can be destroyed only by destroying the nuclear family as the primary institution of the culture. The nuclear family is the school of values in a sexist, sexually repressed society.’ Thinking like this will bring progress?

05/11/2017: Maybe men are on the way out though: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/masculinity-is-toxic/news-story/6e42c8c5a6db42280f78e2f738767fc7

04/11/2017: Ultralight Compact Hiking Pole: We have used GG’s LT4 poles for many years. In just the last year mine have been to Everest and back, and many other places besides, such as the Dusky Track, and Mt Bartle Frère for example. The LT4s are a little long to fit in your pack when you are not using them, though GG packs have attachment points on the outside they can be lashed to. I have a pair of shortened (2’) two section poles which will fit in my pack, but these LT5s will do so right from the store. These would make a great Xmas present for your hiking other if you order them now. https://www.gossamergear.com/products/lt5-three-piece-carbon-trekking-poles-pair  US$195 per pair.

 

The collapsed poles have a short profile

Weight

Pole with strap and basket - 5.3 oz / 150 g

Pole -  4.6 oz / 130 g

Strap and screw - .4 oz / 12 g

Basket - .3 oz / 8 g

Adjust from

23.5" / 60 cm when closed to 51" 130 cm when fully extended for hiking

Section Lengths

Top section 19.5" / 49.53 cm

Middle section 19.25" / 48.98 cm

Tip section 18.75" / 47.62 cm

(Sections are replaceable separately should you break one - unlikely, though I have managed to cut one of my LT4s in half with a machete - don't ask!)

04/11/2017: Undivided Loyalty: Of course there should be an audit and those MPs who are fakes kicked out (and required to pay back moneys illicitly gained). I don’t think ‘dual citizenship should exist at all. (Why should one ‘man’ get two votes yet another only one – or none?) I certainly do not think MPs should be allowed to be dual citizens. Then, If you seek to represent Australia, you should be prepared to give our country your undivided loyalty. I think the same if you are a citizen of Australia. I have no particular objection to (some) citizens of other countries living here as ‘guests’ – but if they don’t behave themselves they should be able to be immediately ejected – as with any unwanted guest! And I think this was a much better country in the 1950s before we imported so many undesirable folk, and squandered most of our wealth in pampering to such ne’er-do-wells! I never thought we should be anything other than a British or European country – and I still think so! You can call me racist – or whatever you like, but you will have to describe the Japanese (and many others) in similar terms, as they do not think Japan should be for anyone other than Japanese either! A nation divided against itself cannot stand! http://pickeringpost.com/story/mark-latham-discusses-an-audit-with-shorten/7737

04/11/2017: We will fight them on the beaches…we will never surrender, by George: ‘the same repulsive strategy seen in Paris and London and Manchester, dignifying as ‘resilience’ what is really an enfeebled passivity no better than the Eloi in H G Wells' The Time Machine, who even as their neighbors are stolen by the Morlocks in the night forget them instantly and gather in the dawn to dance and arrange flowers as if nothing has happened. Free peoples need to recover some righteous anger, or they will lose their futures - and deserve to’. Mark Steyn. Headline: ‘Muslims Fear Backlash from Tomorrow's Terror Attack’

04/11/2017: ‘I, Pencil.’ Essential reading: https://fee.org/resources/i-pencil-audio-pdf-and-html/

03/11/2017: Ultralight Rain Jackets: I am looking around for a new rain jacket of both of us. People’s raincoats often weigh as much as 500 grams. Try weighing yours. So there is nearly a day’s worth of food (weight) to be saved in exploring a change to this item alone.

For many years I hunted deer in winter in the Victorian mountains carrying only a bum-bag or one of those poacher’s vests to keep all my gear down to a minimum. If it was not raining when I started out so that I was wearing my raincoat (which I would tie around my waist - as you do) if it stopped, all I ever carried was one of those 50 gram emergency ponchos (orange is a good colour in case you need to be found!). Often it rained all day. Admittedly I shredded them completely in the rough bush, but they even then they did keep me substantially dry. If you are track walking only, (and are careful with them - and have a bit of emergency repair tape besides) you can keep one going for several days. The best part is they cost only $1-3! You would be even better carrying one of Coghlans Emergency Survival Ponchos (mylar) at 88 grams and approx $10 as they will also keep you warm – even overnight in an emergency.

PS: Waterproofness and Breathability: I doubt very much of a raincoat ever needs to be over 1500mm of waterproofness. What this means ois that the fabric will support a column of water 1500mmm height (That’s 5’ in English!) before it begins to leak. Unless you are planning to use your raincoat as a boat, that will be quite enough. I doubt it can ver rain hard enough to exceed the weight of 5’ of water pressing onto it. Mind you, where there is also other pressure (eg your shoulder straps, that will have to be added to the waterproofness, so maybe, just maybe. Most every raincoat is over 10,000mmm of waterproofness, so I think you can probably ignore any figure over this. They will all keep out the rain!

As to breathability. I admit I was awestruck when Goretex first came along and wasted lots of good money on their rain jackets. I never found they were any better than my old oiled or waxed japaras. Under the right (or wrong) conditions of humidity you would get soaked to the skin in either! I have thought Event was a little better, but I have since been utterly drenched in that too – so I don’t know. A girl reviewing the Arcteyx below claims utterly superior breathability – perhaps I need to try that out!

We have a number of reasonably lightweight raincoats, some of which have done us sterling service in pretty wet places like Fiordland or Southern Tasmania, for example. Sometimes though, you can not like the feel or fit of a particular coat without finding any other fault with it. It is probably much like shoes and handbags (or cats as Lewis Carroll used to say): you just can’t have too many of them. Naturally though, the lighter the fabric the less durable the jacket will be in rough going. If you are going to be doing a lot of bush-bashing over the life of your jacket you should not choose an ultralight raincoat. We would mainly be buying a new ultralight jacket as a weight saving to have in our packs on multi-day hikes when we were not expecting it to rain.

Naturally I would want a raincoat Mens Size (eg Large) which is at least under 200 grams and preferably under 150, and one in Womens Size (eg Small) for Della which is under 150 and preferably under 120. Available colour can be a problem for some people. For example, I have a white raincoat, which is fine except I want it to be green. Probably neither of us wants to own another blue one – and so on. Price can also be an important factor. I have been looking at some possible choices:

Zpacks Vertice Rain Jacket 176 grams (Mens Medium) US$299 http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/wpb_jacket.shtml  The white raincoat I have is one of Joe’s. I accidentally ordered it in the wrong lengths (sleeves and coat) so that it doesn’t quite suit me, though it keeps me quite dry enough (and weighs under 150 grams in Men’s Large). This (white) material is his old material which is clearly lighter than his new one. I personally don’t like the ‘sticky’ feel of it, though there is nothing wrong with it. I dislike running my fingernails over felt too, but I can’t explain why. We both have rain pants in his new fabric and they feel fine and work excellently.  You may want something cheaper though…

Montane Minimus 230 grams (Mens) grams: https://www.montane.co.uk/mens-c1/minimus-jacket-p57  Della has a Montane jacket in Event which she just loves. This one would be a lightweight replacement for it. They used to make a jacket known as the H2O which would have been even lighter (around 150 grams) but it is no longer available. I am seeing this jacket from around A$170 which is pretty good value for a well-made product.

Montbell Versalite Jacket. I really like this one in Green, my favourite colour! We have lots of Montbell products which are lightweight and very functional, so this one has to be a likely candidate for me. It is good value for money from a well-known brand: https://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?cat_id=25013&p_id=2328167&gen_cd=2 189 grams (Mens M)  A$189

Arcteryx Norvan: This Arcteryx jacket has to be worthy of consideration. This lady has given it an impressive review here. https://www.switchbacktravel.com/reviews/arcteryx-norvan-sl-hoody  $299 (215 grams in Mens large - 100grams (XS Womens?) US$299

Lukes Micro 10 Jacket 4.1 oz (Large) US$179: https://lukesultralite.com/products/raingear I really like the sound of this jacket. I just received a pair of Luke’s shorts. They actually weighed less tha his listed weight (25/28 grams). The legs are quite long too, so I will probably hem them up a bit shorter so that they come in at about 22 grams which would be hard to beat for an item of clothing to wear when mixed bathing or doing the laundry on the trail. Luke’s jacket seems to be the lightest and relatively the cheapest. I am tempted to order one and see how it goes. A sub 120 gram jacket in my size (Men’s Large) is pretty awesome.

Two others I should mention:

DriDucks: These are both ultralight and ultra-cheap (as well as being probably the most breathable available. if you are very careful with them, they will keep you quite dry. They also feel beautiful. The jacket alone is (from memory under 150 grams. The jacket plus pants costs around US$25! https://www.froggtoggsraingear.com/DriDucks.shtm

DIY Tyvek: As usual, you can make your own out of Tyvek. We are talking 150 grams and around US$10 here: Here is the link to do so: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultra-cheap-ultralight-rain-gear/

Good Luck and Happy Shopping!

PS: Looking at the pics above I am reminded of Henry Ford's comment: You can have any colour you like as long as it's black!'

See Also:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-ultralight-deer-hunter/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/raincoat-shelter/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-in-the-rain/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/rain-skirt/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-importance-of-a-roof/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/how-to-avoid-being-wet-cold-while-camping/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/how-to-light-a-fire-in-the-wet/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/vapor-barrier/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/tyvek-jack-russell-rain-coat-13-grams/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-shorts-28-grams/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/tyvek-jack-russell-rain-coat-13-grams/

03/11/2017: The Family Reunion Programme: 23 reasons why we should scrap it: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5040235/Trump-reveals-NY-terror-suspect-brought-23-people.html

03/11/2017: Ayer’s Rock: This will go down well. Be interesting to see how well they get on without the tourists. Oh well, there are always even more Govt handouts and more victimhood and identity to claim: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2017/11/01/tourists-to-be-banned-from-climbing-uluru.html

03/11/2017: ‘Attempting to transform children into transsexuals is an appalling form of child abuse and should be regarded as such by the law’; Dr. Cretella is President of the American College of Pediatricians: http://moonbattery.com/?p=89209

03/11/2017: World’s most employable human parrot: Colourful, but unaffordable: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3859680/Human-parrot-57-admits-spends-pension-money-tattoos-surgery-look-like-favourite-bird-having-EARS-chopped-off.html

02/11/2017: Why tax fraud is a moral imperative: Sometimes you have to ask yourself what is the alternative, before you realise what the morally correct decision is. At present the great bulk of our wealth as a nation is being stolen from us by people being able to vote to do so, and is then transferred over eg to what ‘Pygmalion’ calls ‘the deserving poor’ who squander it outrageously on ‘bad’ things - so occasioning the need for even further ‘welfare’ spending, whilst the ‘undeserving poor’ (ie those condemned to work for a meagre living) ‘deserve’ and are ‘given’ nothing. . Of course it would be much better for the ‘deserving poor’ (and everyone else) if such folk were gainfully employed in physical labour – but that is not to be! Such a requirement would be ‘unjust’ and ‘unfair’. Therefore, it is everyone else’s duty to ‘steal’ back from the Government every cent of the illicitly gained taxes one can in order eg to pass them on to one’s children whose money it was, or ought to be. Mind you I have never understood why anyone pays any tax. Misplaced altruism perhaps? The rich long since worked out how not to. It only requires a little work and study to cheat the tax man out of every last cent! It is also a much more interesting game than any of the silly computer games the young seem obsessed with! An aside: Robin Hood did not 'Steal from the rich and give to the poor'. He stole the people's money back from the government and returned it to them!

02/11/2017: Despatches from The Fifth Column: ‘French police and intelligence services are surveilling around 15,000 jihadists living on French soil, Le Journal du Dimanche reported on October 9. Of these, some 4,000 are at "the top of the spectrum" and most likely to carry out an attack. Of the 1,900 French jihadists fighting with the Islamic State, as many as one-fifth have received as much as €500,000 ($580,000) in social welfare payments from the French state’, Figaro October 26, 2017 Meanwhile in Kabul a 13 year old suicide bomber: http://www.1tvnews.af/en/news/afghanistan/31895 and in New York: http://abcnews.go.com/US/york-city-officers-responding-reports-shots-fired-lower/story?id=50842052

02/11/2017: Blurring ‘Reality’: All these images have been generated by AI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOxxPcy5Gr4

01/11/2017: Confucian Academia: I have long railed against the ridiculous waste of providing everyone with a (pretend) university education, when most (not to mention society) would be much better served with a technical education. Nothing underlines this more than the fact that these academics are churning out vast tracts of garbage which no-one at all reads! ‘82 percent of articles published in the humanities are not even cited once - Of those articles that are cited, only 20 percent have actually been read.’ meaning that less than 3% have ever been read by anyone. Presumably even the person assessing them for a 'Higher' Degree! Compare that to my blog for example (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/) where often 1,000+ people have read a post within an hour of my posting it! Is it any wonder I gave up academia over 40 years ago! Yes, there are lots of savings governments could make. Slashing the so-called ‘education’ budget (which is just disguised welfare/unemployment ‘benefits’) is a case in point. Young folk would be ‘improved’ much more by being required to be outdoors doing some meaningful physical work – creating hiking paths or eradicating weeds on public lands, for example. http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/why-professors-are-writing-crap-nobody-reads 

 

01/11/2017: The environmental costs of electric cars: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/10/britain-can-have-electric-cars-or-turn-scotland-into-a-wind-farm-which-will-it-be-then/ See also: Who would have thought someone as ‘mainstream’ as Alan Kohler would advocate banning the internal combustion engine in Australia? Lunacy: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/09/alan-kohler-dreams-of-banning-combustion-engines-in-cars-in-australia/ This green lunacy has to stop before all the gains of the industrial revolution are discarded.

01/11/2017: Great quotes: T.B. Macaulay (1800-59): ‘We cannot absolutely prove that those are in error who tell us that society has reached a turning point, that we have seen our best days. But so said all before us, and with just as much apparent reason ... On what principle is it that, when we see nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us.’

31/10/2017: First Confirmed Interstellar Visitor: https://newatlas.com/object-beyond-solar-system/51936/

31/10/2017: I know it is slow going, but you need to know why the AGW ‘theory’ is fallacious – and hence everything which is done in its name is unnecessary, or worse. For example, Kininmonth challenges the term “heat trapping gases” because: “There is sufficient CO2 in the atmosphere such that across the CO2 wavebands all the IR emission from the surface is completely absorbed within the first few tens of metres of the boundary layer; the CO2 cannot ‘trap’ any more of the surface IR emission.” Please, read on:  https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/10/29/weekly-climate-and-energy-news-roundup-289/

31/10/2017: An Interesting observation. It certainly happened in teaching; now it is the Boy Scouts’ turn: As Martin van Creveld, the Israeli military historian noted, ‘the more women enter any professional field, the more men leave it. And as the men depart, so to do the prestige and the economic rewards provided by the field. This creates a vicious cycle that both expels existing men from the field while repelling new men from entering it.’ The upsides and downsides of feminism: http://voxday.blogspot.com.au/2017/10/the-boy-scouts-converged.html Mind you, with around 25% of working age men actually unemployed now (and for the last c.20 years - and more and more women working hard to support them) , you have to ask yourself where the costs of feminism have fallen, and who if anyone benefits.

31/10/2017: Why are people poor? I think there are a lot of people who would benefit from this advice (if they were willing to take it!). Every day I see folks around me making the most spectacularly bad financial decisions (only later to lament them as a form of victimhood - eg ‘Why/Poor me?’). The decision to not be poor can be as simple as deciding to grow/cook your own food (instead of take-aways/restaurants) or realising you don’t need a new shirt/pair of shoes; you don’t need to buy a new car, when yours has only done (eg) 150K, ie it is newer than any car I have bought in the last 30 years! You don’t need that large house; you don’t need someone else to build it; you don’t need that expensive overseas holiday when you have not even seen 1% of Victoria’s Alps or rivers. And etc, etc: http://pjmedia.com/drhelen/2014/09/29/how-not-to-be-poor/?repeat=w3tc

30/10/2017: 100th Anniversary of Beersheba Today: If you have not read Ion Idriess’ ‘The Desert Column’ (you should. You can download it for free: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ion-idriess-the-desert-column/) read this article. Did you know for example that it was the Australians (and not the British) who took the Turkish surrender in WW1? http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2017/10/100th-anniversary-of-the-great-cavalry-charge-australias-4th-light-horse-brigade-in-the-taking-of-be.html An interesting review here: https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2011/09/ion-idriess-and-the-desert-column/

30/10/2017: The Ultralight Deer Hunter: You will definitely see more deer if you spend longer deep in the bush where they live, and especially if you can spend the night out with them. I prefer to 'get away from it all' and camp out far from anyone else rather than hunting the fringes of private land where I admit there are lots of deer.

Here are some suggestions for an ultralight deer hunter’s ‘Gear List’. In any case it is worthwhile reducing your overall hunting pack weight as it will mean you can walk further (and more quietly). The further you walk, and the harder you look, listen and smell, the more deer you will encounter. See Also: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hammock-hunting-till-dark/

Pack: First of all, as I suggested here (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/best-hunting-daypack/ & http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hunting-daypack/), you need to reduce your pack weight. The ‘MLD Burn’ is an excellent choice for a rugged hunting overnight or day pack at 370 grams. You might also consider Zpacks’ 38 litre Nero at 309 grams: http://www.zpacks.com/backpacks/nero.shtml though the fabric is a little lighter. It may nonetheless be just as strong - or even stronger. It is adjustable.

 

What would I put in it for an overnight stop?

Tent: Of course I would have my ‘Pocket Poncho Tent’ (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-pocket-poncho-tent/) at 185 grams – and you may be lucky to have one too if I can manage to organize manufacturing them in Asia somewhere (soon?) Otherwise you should look around for something around 250 grams such as Gossamer Gear’s Twinn Tarp: https://www.gossamergear.com/collections/tents/products/twinn-tarp NB: As an alternative, I have also recommended a hammock/tarp/pad combo here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hammock-hunting-till-dark/

If you prefer a tent, you could either make your own as I do, perhaps starting with this: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/poly-tent-by-the-ultralight-hiker-on-the-cheap/ for approx $10 (try a search for 'Tent' above) eg the Forester Tent (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/new-tyvek-forestertent-design/), or there are quite a few 500 gram (ish) tents now available, such as this one: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/500-gram-tents/, or Six Moon Designs eg  https://www.sixmoondesigns.com/collections/tarps/products/gatewood-capen at 340 grams, or Mountain Laurel Designs eg:

https://mountainlaureldesigns.com/product/trailstar/ from 340 grams, or Zpacks eg http://www.zpacks.com/shelter/solplex.shtml 439 grams (this one includes floor/bug net), etc.

Pegs/Guys: Of course you will need some pegs (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/tent-stakes-and-tricks/ )and guys (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-perfect-guy-line-for-a-hiking-tenttarp/), say about 70-80 grams worth..

Groundsheet: I might use a space blanket as a ground sheet if I thought I needed one; I usually carry one anyway for safety/first aid (50 grams) – but I will soon have my Bathtub Groundsheet Chair (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/bathtub-groundsheet-chair/) when I get around to making it - at approx 85 grams (I estimate). A little comfort never went astray! There are lots of ultralight options including polycryo: https://www.gossamergear.com/products/polycryo-tent-footprint-ground-cloths which would work out at 23 grams. If you yearn for something a little tougher, I guess you could opt for a piece of sinylon, eg http://www.tiergear.com.au/11/products/xenon-sil-11 which will still likely be under 50 grams depending on size (eg 2' X 7'). You can drape the edges over some fallen timber to create a bathtub floor effect if it is raining heavily and you anticipate flooding.

Mat: You could use a 4’ Thermarest Neoair X-Lite (ie Small https://www.thermarest.com/mattresses/neoair-xlite-2 ) as a mat, and put your feet on your pack for a bit of insulation – 230 grams. For more comfort I usually opt for the ‘Womens’ size at 340 grams and 5'6" http://www.theultralighthiker.com/womens-are-great-in-bed/.

If/when it becomes available I would try the Big Agnes AXL Air: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/big-agnes-axl-air-pad/ (300 grams for the 6’ long by 3” thick model which I would shorten by about 6” – 270 grams - as I am somewhat vertically challenged! Anyway I usually sleep on my side curled up a bit so I can fit comfortably on a 5' mat).

Sleeping Bag: My favourite sleeping bag is the Montbell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 now at 624 grams http://www.theultralighthiker.com/montbell/ though my own older model is lighter (<600). I would also carry some other Montbell clothes (See ‘Clothes’ below) for warmth such as the ‘Superior Down’ coat (200 grams) and vest (150 grams). If it is a particularly cold night I put the coat on my upper body and the vest on my lower. This reduces the temperature of the down bag from -1c to approx -10C.

Zpacks makes an even lighter model (which Della has). Her 5'9" bag warm to -7C weighs 499 grams inc compression sack: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/new-zpacks-sleeping-bag/

Pillow: You should try this: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/exped-ultralight-pillow/ at 45 grams or this: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/diy-super-ultralight-pillow/ . Say 10 grams.

Of course Bonnie Prince Charlie (somewhat effeminately) used just a stone as a pillow when he was camping out in the snow in a Scottish winter in just his kilt and cloak. Those Scots are/were tough!

Dry Socks & Shoes: If you suffer from cold feet, you might consider a pair of Goosefeet Gear down sox  https://goosefeetgear.com/products/down-socks/ – 50 grams (and of course I carry my home-made Dyneema slippers for a dry change of shoes: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/19-gram-dyneema-camp-shoes/ - 24 grams.

Another option is a pair of Sealskin Socks https://www.sealskinz.com/walking-thin-ankle-socks-dark-grey-black.htm (mine weigh approx 80 grams but they may not be the lightest model) which enable you to wear wet shoes - or just carry dry socks and maybe some Crocs.

Cookset: I outlined my minimum cookset here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-windscreen/ 60 grams. A slightly larger model here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/cookset-woes/ Of course you will need a 9 gram (12 long) spoon to go with that: http://www.seatosummit.com.au/products/kitchen/alpha-light/ and maybe some Esbits - or you could be carrying your egg-ring stove (as I do) and just burn some twigs: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-egg-ring-ultralight-wood-burner-stove/

Rainwear: Try to keep the weight of this down. If you weigh your raincoat don’t be surprised if it is over 500 grams. Choice here is a bit more difficult for hunting where significant abrasion might be a factor. (Much moreso if you are a hound hunter rather than a stalker). Raincoats range down to around 150 grams or less, (Luke's Ultralight/Zpacks) - again see Montbell’s range.

If you are careful with a lightweight coat it will serve you well. If you are trying to be very quiet it is unlikely you will tear your raincoat; besides it isn't always raining.

Soon (I hope) you will be able to take advantage of my Pocket Poncho tent which will keep you dry both during the day and at night (with a minimum weight of about 185 grams.

Raincoat: Lightest and best value for money are probably Montbell’s offerings, eg the Versalite https://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?cat_id=25013&p_id=2328276&gen_cd=1 at 189 grams.

The cheapest fully breathable waterproof jacket (not very durable – but very light) is the DriDucks by Frogg Toggs. I personally like an ‘Event’ Raincoat; I have two which have kept me very dry in trying conditions. I also like Zpack’s new raincoat.

Hat: If you really want to have a warm head of a night, I have one of Ray Jardine’s ‘Bomber’ hats my wife Della made for me years ago at 30 grams. I doubt she will make one for you. A number of people offer down balaclavas, eg: http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/goosehood.shtml at 37 grams or https://goosefeetgear.com/products/down-balaclava/.

I also use a ‘Buff’ http://www.theultralighthiker.com/are-you-beautiful-in-the-buff/ to keep my neck and particularly my nose warm (37.5 grams) This is the very acme of luxury! During the day I have my Icebreaker wool cap (now alas, deleted): http://www.theultralighthiker.com/best-deer-hunters-cap-best-ultralight-cap/ fortunately I have a number of them!

Gloves: If it is really freezing, I have the MLD Rain Mittens http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-mitts-and-gaiters/ 42 grams. (I also have their ultralight gaiters – I find they work wonderfully to keep rubbish out of your shoes). The mittens work really well on very cold wet days when otherwise your hands would freeze – of course they do interfere just a bit with your trigger finger!

Under the mitts I can wear a pair of ultralight polypropylene or wool gloves, such as Icebreaker’s Oasis Glove Liners http://au.icebreaker.com/en/accessories/oasis-glove-liners/IBM207.html?dwvar_IBM207_color=001 at 24 grams.

Dry Clothes: Dry clothes (and a raincoat) are options if it is likely to rain. (Otherwise you might just carry a disposable poncho and risk having to dry your clothes out with your body heat). Keep these as light as possible. Again Montbell are hard to beat with their windpants 53/75 grams and windshirts 55 grams https://www.montbell.us/products/list.php?cat_id=25048&gen_cd=1, or you could just take some Icebreaker of Kathmandu wool thermals as your dry change – and for extra night insulation.

Clothes: Start from the skin out. Weigh your clothes. Most of those proprietary ‘hunting’ clothes and shoes are heavy as lead, particularly when wet. I always wear wool socks. The lightweight Holeproof Heroes (now rebadged as Bonds) in summer, and Explorers in winter have been long-term stand-bys for me, durable and cheap.

Wigwam are, arguably better but much more expensive. I have not tried them yet, but these folk guarantee their (hunting) socks for lifehttps://darntough.com Unbelievable! http://www.theultralighthiker.com/warranties-on-outdoor-gear/

Then I would wear lightweight trousers such as the Columbia Silver Ridge. (I have yet to find anything as light and as durable for their weight). To counter the smelliness which can develop in nylon clothing I recommend wearing Icebreaker wool knickers such as these underneath: http://au.icebreaker.com/en/mens-layering-underwear/anatomica-briefs/103031.html?dwvar_103031_color=401

Since you will normally be hunting in the winter months wear a long sleeve wool shirt such as the Tomar from Kathmandu or the Departure 2 from Icebreaker. They are tough enough to withstand a bit of bush-bashing. In the summer months I wear a knitted wool top such as this: http://www.kathmandu.com.au/mens/clothing/tops/ometo-men-s-polo-shirt-v2.html but they are not so durable.

Anyway always wool if you don't want to stink - and remember if you stink the deer will smell you too! . For layering, I also recommend wool: an Icebreaker/Kathmandu tee, long top and/or longjohns. I also wear an Icebreaker wool cap: which unfortunately for you are no longer available.

NB: These folk now have wool camo hunting clothes: https://www.firstlite.com/products.html just as Icebreaker used to have: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/camo-merino-wool-for-deer-hunting/

For insulated layers in really cold weather and of a night, I choose Montbell again. Their Thermawrap series are one of the lightest synthetic insulated garments. You might chose a vest in this material for an extra layer if needed in the daytime (when it might get wet) and a Montbell down coat of a night. I own their Superior Down coat (and vest, as well as the Thermawrap vest). I see they now have a 1000 fill power down (Plasma) jacket – but it is much more expensive.

Larry Adler is the Australian supplier: https://www.montbelloutdoor.com.au/  There are some items which they do not stock, but they might get them in...Ask them. If it is still unavailable it is possible to order it from the US (using shipito) but you also need a virtual credit card (also from shipito). Messy, but possible.

Shoes: I suggest some ultralight shoes such as the Topos I reviewed here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/topo-terraventure-shoes/  or some Keens: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/keen-shoes/ If you have wide feet like me. There are other lightweight options such as Inov-8s if you have narrower feet.

Guns and Knives: I have posted about the lightest effective knife I have found (at 16 grams ea) here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultimate-blades-for-the-ultralight-hunter/

Another heavier choice which might interest you (if you don't fancy sharpening your knife) is here:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/never-have-to-sharpen-your-knife-again/

If you do like to sharpen it, you might still want an ultralight sharpener: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-knife-sharpener/

You probably know I use a lever action .308 in take-down (so I can put it in my canoe bag or pack): http://www.theultralighthiker.com/308s/. You probably also know that the short action round makes for a lighter gun than the long action. I realise a lever action (and a take-down) both outweigh a standard bolt action, but I have my reasons.

Also, sambar are not really 'big game' animal. A .308 is quite adequate to stop them. If you want something 'bigger' try the WSM. Obviously iron sights (which I chose for ethical reasons) are much lighter too than telescopic sights.

There are people who specialise in 'sporterising' rifles to make them lighter (as everyone, including me), used to do with their old .303s! You could probably get your deer rifle down to perhaps 2.5kg, so still it is clearly the single heaviest thing you are carrying.

Electronics:

Torch: I use a AAA torch. I confess I am outrageous and often carry two of them (one for use as a lantern and one as a headlamp), but they only weigh at most 14-16 grams each (inc some string a micro cord lock and a couple of O-rings to turn them into a head torch): http://www.theultralighthiker.com/lighter-brighter-better/http://www.theultralighthiker.com/11-gram-rechargeable-head-torch/ Clearly you also need a few spare batteries at 10 grams each.

Phone: I take my Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini phone with me (at 120 grams inc battery) as (in Flight Mode) I can get nearly a week's use out of it just every now and then using the mapping App, or reading a book, listening to music, etc. It also makes a good back-up camera.

Camera: The camera I am using at the moment is this one: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/new-camera/ http://www.theultralighthiker.com/camera-glassing/ at 160 grams inc battery/card (and it has taken some good shots - I'm sure you'll agree!), but I know there are now models with better optics (eg 30-40 X zoom) and programming which are not a lot heavier, and which will secure some better long-distance/poor light etc shots. The Sony XXX is a case in point.

PLB: I think you should carry some safety equipment (apart from your First Aid kit). If you are on a budget the Spot Messenger http://www.theultralighthiker.com/get-lost-get-found-plbepirb/ at 114 grams is the way to go. If you are a bit better heeled then you might go for an Inreach http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-poor-mans-satellite-phone/ at 191 grams or even an Iridium Extreme Sat Phone at 247 grams: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-not-so-poor-mans-sat-phone/

Saw: You will need something perhaps to get those antlers off (or you may choose to carry out the whole head and cape out if you are very strong). You can make an ultralight bow saw (eg using a 15" bone saw blade) as discussed here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-saws/ The lightest thing I know for this purpose is a length of embryo wire (available from veterinarians).

First Aid: You certainly should carry a small kit. It is a matter of personal taste what you carry really. I carried an elastic bandage and a sling (for example) for over twenty years and never needed them - but when I did (della dislocated her shoulder) I needed them in the worst way! I carry a number of drugs: Panadeine Forte, some anti-inflammatories, anti-nausea, Imodium, antihistamine, band-aids, bandages, blister pads... I would allow at least 100 grams for this vital component.  

Essentials Tally (Gun and Ammo + worn clothing plus):

Pack:370 grams

Tent: 340 grams

Pegs/Guys: 80 grams

Groundsheet: 50 grams

Mat: 340 grams

Pillow: 45 grams

Sealskin Socks: 80 grams

Cookset: 69 grams

Dry top/bottom: 108 grams

Insulated vest & coat: 156 + 208

Knife: 32 grams

Saw: 20 grams

Phone: 120 grams

PLB: 114 grams

Torch and batteries: 56 grams

First Aid, say 100 grams

Cumulative Total:2218 grams

Add Food: approx 500 grams/ day.

I'm sure you can see that my total is probably less than the weight of your day pack (empty).

PS: I have usually gone for a higher number here than I actually carry (eg so that it is something you can currently buy), so that for example my tent weighs 185 grams, my current pack 230 grams...so, I could probably shave 300+ grams off this total, say to a max of 1.9kg!

Spot and I stop for lunch by the river. That small pack has everything I need for over a week's hunting - including Spot's bed and rations, and he is a bigger eater than I am! And you can see I had brought my machete along in case I needed to do some clearing, and my hiking poles in case my knees or back gave trouble - which fortunately they did not.

If you would like to get an encyclopedic idea of my multi-day hiking list, you might find this interesting: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-gorilla-in-the-hand/

See Also:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/sambar-stalking-101/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-lure-of-the-moose/

29/10/2017: The Fast Hiker: I know I certainly don't look it (and I confess I am not), but the site had been dreadfully slow. Didn't bother me - I am in no hurry to meet my maker. But I know many of you have better things to do than waiting for pages to load...so i am working on speeding things up.

As I work on it some speed problems are intermitently getting worse, but I/we are tackling the issue, and it will get enormously better!

So far the Home Page has shrunk from over 16 megabytes to 1.3 (mainly by removing photos. I compressed all 14,500 photographs (by 69%!) with Short Pixel Optimiser. This saves people a lot of data! I updated PHP to version 7.1 which sped things up by about 50%. I have updated teh Cron job -whatever that is! I also installed WP Super Cache which stores pages which have already been accessed and so speeds up loading them.

The speed to load a page should already have come down from something like 10 seconds (Sorry!) to something like 2 seconds. I hope I can get it under 1 second without any loss of functionality/quality, etc. Of course I am no computer expert. i am a retired farmer (who still has a lot of thistles to spray and other odd jobs) and who would like to be off hiking/canoeing, etc.

These were the easy fixes. Getting down from around 2 seconds to under 1 second will involve a whole lot of quite cunning computer programming wrinkles where I will no doubt need some professional help, but I will keep hammering away at it over the next few weeks until i achieve that goal. The list is incredibly long and complicated! Thanks for being patient!

28/10/2017: The Lure of the Moose:

Oh, the enchantments of Fiordland: Again and again I have returned to this lush green Eden searching for one of these surviving giants of the Pleistocene, which though deported from their ancient homeland in the vast Boreal forests of the North, yet linger there today. For me it is a tale which began when I picked up a copy of Australian Deer back in the 1990s on whose cover this wonderful grainy image gazed out at me:

Instantly I wanted to put myself in that picture. My daughter Merrin even Photoshopped me into it as a birthday present! The article which accompanied it introduced me to this man, Eddie Herrick whose quest for this gentle giant in the vastness of Fiordland with his guide Jim Muir consumed so much of his life. Every year for thirty years he spent three months there, searching for them: ten whole years of their lives! Even more of Muir's. On three occasions he was rewarded with such an experience as the photo above shows: two bulls and a three-legged cow!

The one above was the bull moose he took in 1934 in what is now eponymously Herrick Creek in Wet Jacket Arm, Dusky Sound. I guess it is about the top of the small lake in the lower section of the creek. You can see he was about the age (50-ish) I was when I began my search, so I had no feeling that what I was to undertake was impossible. Though I have found that it is very nearly so, and anyway supremely difficult, every year a powerful magnetism draws me thither.

Jim Macintosh's cow moose 1950s:

Shortly after I read the article I acquired Ken Tustin’s wonderful book and video ‘A Wild Moose Chase’, Max Curtis’ ‘Beyond the River’s Bend’ and Ray Tinsley’s ‘Call of the Moose,’ each being about NZ’s famous or fantastic moose herd - and all of which I devoured eagerly. I was hooked.

At the same time I read several other books about moose in general. I was soon becoming an armchair expert on these giant creatures. Of course I wanted to journey to New Zealand to have a look myself. I never imagined I would have enough money to see them in Canada where you have to push them off the back porch - anyway I prefer a challenge!

My fiftieth birthday came and went. My wife, Della purchased me the first brand new deer caliber rifle I had ever owned, a Browning Lever Action (BLR) in .308 calibre. What a wife! She also encouraged me to make the trip as soon as I could before I was too old to do so. Hang the expense! I planned to go in the New Year 2000; it ended up getting pushed out to nearly the end of February. Still an excellent time to be in Fiordland. Two sambar hunting mates, Brett and Michael got wind that I was going (originally by myself) and decided they needed to chaperone me!

Lots of planning, particularly of gear ensued. You would think we were C18th century explorers heading off for darkest Africa! All the same I was only going away from home for eight days. I really don't know how Della was able to manage to look after the farm/s as well as go to work then - we had hundreds of acres and well over a thousand sheep scattered over half a dozen different properties - but she did. I think we planned on having five days 'moose hunting' at Supper Cove.

Cow moose snapped by Max Curtis, Herrick Creek, Wet Jacket Arm, Dusky Sound 1950s

We landed in Christchurch then drove down to Te Anau. Michael at least had never been to NZ before and Brett had not seen Fiordland. This was a sentimental journey for me as Della and I had lived in Christchurch in 1975 and had toured all over the South Island together on a 250cc Honda motorcycle. I had never been anywhere without her before, so I confess I was missing her as we traveled down the island. Everything i saw I wanted her to see too. She would have to wait another thirteen years for her turn! She is a patient person.

We had organised to fly in with the 'Wings on Water' float plane to Supper Cove and so begin our search from there. This was the first time Michael or I had ever been in a small plane. As I have a problem with heights (even to changing lightbulbs!) I felt that I would have to close my eyes, grit my teeth and endure, but as it turned out I loved it, and would pay to do it again and again!

The high flight over Lakes Te Anau and then Manapouroi, glimpses into icy sunless valleys to the north, a panorama of Doubtful Sound, then the plunge through Centre Pass and a slow descent down the mighty Seaforth valley over towering Tripod Hill and the perched Lochs (Gair & Maree), past the southern home of the moose (the Henry Burn) and on to the glittering expanse of the vast Dusky fiord is a journey worth a million dollars (but only costs NZ$330 - 2017!)

Percy Lyes NZ bull moose 1950s

We had all been hunting sambar deer in (what we thought of as) rough country in Gippsland for years, so reckoned we could tour the Fiordland forests in much the same way. For example, It is just a handful of kilometres ('as the bird flies') from Supper Cove over the range to the mouth of Herrick Creek. We foresaw that as a day hunt. In fact it is an arduous trip of at least four days return which I am yet to complete. Being just shy of 70 now, I am doubtful I ever will, but next autumn I know I will feel differently once more!

Supper Cove is at the head of Dusky Sound, the largest fiord in NZ. It was discovered and named by the same Captain Cook as the East Coast of Australia. The first European structures in NZ were built there - even the first house, surprisingly by the shipwrecked crew of another ship also (like Cook's) called the 'Endeavour'.

The Supper Cove hut is adjacent to a lovely little beach where the Hilda Burn flows into the top of the fiord just South of Supper Cove itself - which is formed by the mighty Seaforth River flowing into the head of the fiord, creating a shallow semicircular cove perfect for flatfish. You can walk across this cove at low tide from the northern end of this little beach just past the helipad, but there is a deep gut formed by the Hilda Burn flowing in, so if you want a drier crossing you are better to walk up the track past the Hilda Burn before you cross.

Brett walking across Supper Cove on a low-ish tide:

If you wish to look for moose (or red deer eg during the Roar) along the Seaforth the three huts (Supper Cove, Loch Maree and Kintail) are good bases from which you can make daily forays up the many 'Burns' and onto the slips searching for these elusive monsters which (especially in the warmest days of summer) I believe often lie cooling themselves in the deeper pools. At other times they are likely to be too widely dispersed for you to ever encounter one, but they do particularly like the fuchsia regrowth on slips. If you are there at the end of February as we were on this occasion, you might even hear a bull moose call (as we did on the last day of February 2000), or perhaps even a cow answer him.

Initially at least Michael decided he would make the Henry Burn his own, whilst Brett and I focused our attentions on the Hilda and 'Waterfall' Burns. We arrived around lunchtime and reckoned impetuously we had enough time to check out the Hilda Burn quite thoroughly that afternoon. Of course we had not gone more than 300 metres before we realised that our times/distances would be very different than we had imagined.

If you try to follow the Hilda Burn upwards you realise quite soon that your way is blocked by a vast angry cataract that it is impossible to pass or climb. You have to go up one side or the other. The first afternoon we ascended on the true right bank (looking downstream - that is the convention). About 200 yards above the existing hut there is the ruins of an earlier hut. The first thing I knew about it was that I had tripped over a barbed wire 'fence' hiding in the undergrowth badly tearing my shin- something which you most certainly are not expecting in the enormous wilderness of Fiordland. No-one I have encountered seems to know anything at all about this ruin, but there is some wire, netting and sheets of iron there which might come in handy sometime if you know they exist.

The cataract in the Hilda Burn

Here are the remains of the old hut.

Even only traveling this far up the ridge you need to be alert to keeping the position in mind of the roar of the water falling in the Burn, as when you turn to descend you will swiftly realise that the country fissures and falls away in all directions with very steep, narrow guts which it is well-nigh impossible to traverse laterally, something which the deliberate focusing on ascent is likely to lead you to ignore. It is incredibly easy to become 'bluffed out' in Fiordland - meaning that you may relatively easily ascend but when descending not be able to find or see a way down at all. You have to pay incredibly close attention to the route you took on the way up.

We climbed above the second hut, hauling ourselves over rocks and tree roots through vastly wet, dense terrain until the roar of the water diminished so we judged we could safely descend into the upper Hilda Burn. As we angled down into it at one point we had to climb a monstrous fallen log about the height of my nose (say about 5'), so that I could not actually see the top of it. When I had clambered my way up onto it, I was astonished to find right on top of it fresh moose droppings! Boy, they are big beasts! It was completely obvious what they were, as everywhere in the forest there were red deer droppings - pretty much indistinguishable from sambar droppings (being similarly sized deer ie approximately jelly bean sized).

The enormous moose droppings centre and normal sized red deer droppings right and below them (above the leaf).

These moose droppings were nearly as large as my thumb in comparison. Brett picked up some red deer droppings and handed them to me so that I could photograph the two so they could be compared. Back then practically no-one believed that moose had survived in Fiordland into the C21st. Most believed they had died out soon after Percy Lyes had shot his bull moose back in the early 1950's. But here we were only an hour or so into the Fiordland forest and we had in our hands (so to speak) proof that a moose had passed this way within the last day or two (the incessant rain makes smart work of any 'sign' in Fiordland).

Above is a photo of those fewmets. My apologies for the quality of the photos in this post. In 2000 I had the latest 'Advantix' film camera, but technology sure marches on. I thought the snaps I took back then were just brilliant, but I am embarrassed by their poor quality now, as I am also becoming embarrassed by the present quality of my digital camera compared with the results from Della's Samsung Galaxy 7's. Mind you the forests are so dark, it is very difficult indeed to get good photos. Maybe if you are an expert (and can afford to lug along a few kilos of photography kit), as I am neither...

We beat our way down towards the river following the tracks I guess of a large red deer. He arrived at the river just above a wide clearing on the true right bank caused by one of the innumerable slips which beset that country and which create most of the new feeding opportunities for the moose herd. Unusually (most are covered with fuchsia regrowth) this slip had been kept quite grassy by the innumerable red deer, of which there was lots of sign. But also, cutting right across the bottom of the clearing were the huge tracks of a moose. With feet as large as a cow's or horse's he had sunk almost a foot deep as he crossed. The smaller red deer tracks in comparison had made much less of an impression, and were everywhere to be seen and compared There was no comparison. Clearly these tracks were from a vastly larger animal, which in that situation could be nothing but a moose.

The clearing on the true left side of the Hilda Burn.

Eddie Herrick shot an ancient three-legged cow moose (I think) in the Hilda Burn in the 1930s. She was likely the one who clearly broke its leg when they were tipped out off the boat in Supper Cove. You can see that one has a broken leg in the photo of the herd standing in Supper Cove looking mournful - poor things had been raised on lucerne and such! Amazingly, though she must have lost the leg (to gangrene?), she had survived in that most moose inhospitable terrain for nigh on thirty years. Knowing that they were that tough I had many doubts that they had somehow mysteriously died out sometime after 1950. Here was one who had walked across this clearing in the last day or two, clearly making this valley and its surrounds its home!

Brett in the Hilda Burn.

Also on this clearing there was a small tree or sapling (I suppose 3" in diameter) which had clearly been pushed over and stripped by something, the bark on the top also having been chewed away. I remember wondering why the tree had 'fallen' at such a strange angle, as if an immense wind had pushed it over, so that its top was no more than a metre above the ground. I guess it was nearly twenty years before I was informed by (Ken Tustin) that this behaviour of  walking trees down is a favourite moose feeding strategy. On this trip I saw it again and again - and I have seen it many more times since. It is unmistakable moose 'sign'.

By the time we had descended to the stream it was becoming sufficiently dark that we needed to turn right round and head back unless we wanted to spend our first night in Fiordland sitting around in our raincoats in cold, wet bush. For advice about that, see: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/raincoat-shelter/ You should definitely avoid that situation. My advice is to carry a hammock and tarp so you can spend a dry night in the bush.

Looking down from the Hilda Burn.

I guess it was the next day we decided, (it having been too difficult scrambling up the true right bank) that we would find a way up the true left bank. Let me tell you, it was no better, if not worse. There is some very steep going, a huge tangle of fallen trees, at least one waterfall to traverse - just to get above the cataract. And you had better remember just how you got there, as when you are coming back down you will find that the way up was the only way! Just that happened to us. It was only that when we became 'bluffed' we sat down for a smoke or a bite to eat, to 'study' on our dilemma, and when we sat down that we realised that the last little bit we had had to crawl up - a reality which became apparent when we got low enough to see where we had come. A cup of tea or a smoke (or sleep on it) are always good strategies if in doubt.

We saw a few red deer on the slip as we passed. They weren't particularly alerted to our passage. The heavy cover of moss everywhere in Fiordland and the sodden nature of everything sucks up a lot of sound. Mostly all you can ever hear is water moving, falling, sloshing, dripping...There is very little birdsong (well, there are very few birds) but even so their song does not carry as it does in Victoria. Often you can see that they are singing even quite close up, say less than 20 yards, yet are unable to hear them.

On this or another occasion Brett was walking up the true right bank as I walked up the true left. At one point I wanted to attract his attention, so I whistled. No response. Then I blew a blast on my ultra loud Fox 40 whistle which the manufacturers reckon you can hear up to a mile away! No response. He was perhaps 40 metres away. The sound was just soaked up by the forest. And he is not deaf like I am. You can see how, the folks who have shot a moose in Fiordland pretty much universally just stumbled on it (usually very close to a creek) when it stood up, they went, 'Crack!' and down it went. End of hunting story.

Walking high up in the Hilda Burn:

There is a section of morass to cross (on the true left bank). It is quite difficult going, and remains so. These morasses are ubiquitous in Fiordland and very dangerous. I can well believe you can get stuck in them and be unable to extricate yourself. You can very suddenly plunge (right on the edge) up to your hips - as I have done many times. If you can throw yourself backwards as you fall in it is easier to get out.  Another grave danger of walking in the Fiordland bush is that all these large gullies are actually the moraines of ancient glaciers. Underneath they are boulder fields. And in many places not very far underneath. You need to test each step before you put your weight on it to ensure that you are not going to plunge downwards into a huge crevasse - as I did on the fourth day trying to ascend the 'Waterfall Burn'. Downwards over my head in an instant. Fortunately I did not break anything except my dignity and I was able to climb back out again. Probably the gullies are worst for this than the ridges.

I cannot now remember whether on the particular day I am relating I was alone in the valley - as I have been several times since - or if Brett was somewhere else in the valley. Anyway, I had dropped down into the stream by myself and was wading along in it - as that was the easiest going, Every now and then getting out, then getting back in again. I'm sure you know what thick difficult going is like. There came a point where as I was rounding a bend in the stream, (the banks being nearly as high as I am) something very large and dark surged up and thundered off in a cloud of spray further up the stream, giving me just the barest glimpse of it. All I could say was that it was not a bull, as I would have been able to see its antlers above the banks of the stream.

I followed it (as quietly as I could - spooked things will often halt to look back and see what it was which frightened them) when shortly the stream split in two. Where the two streams joined there was a large patch of sand, and clear as day in the sand were the unmistakable prints of a moose. They were very nearly as large as a cow's prints, and they had the 'signature' dew claw marks a couple of inches behind the main hoof prints such as only moose amongst deer kind have. I would have a photo of them only when I was coming back down again some time later, the rain had all but blurred them clear away - it does rain lots in Fiordland. Expect to get very, very wet, even in Goretex such as I was wearing.

It had crept off upwards into a large swampy area lying between the two streams which did not show up on the topographic map. It must have been very difficult to get good (and accurately interpret) aerial photography in Fiordland. I followed the beast around in this swampy area for I guess about an hour, each circling the other trying to get a look, sometimes seeing a bit of leg perhaps. The water was ankle to knee deep, and there were many small islands each with a vast tree protruding from its centre and surrounded by lowish bushes. The cloud cover came half-way down the trunks of the trees. A prehistoric landscape for a prehistoric creature. I could have taken a shot at it through vegetation - it was often clear just where it was - but I never (nor should you) ever do such a thing. A deer missed is one thing; a dead mate is missed a long time!

Alas, once again light was going to beat me. I had to break off the chase or I would be spending a terrible night out in this saturated forest. There is just no way you could make your way down in failing light or darkness. Having had so little trouble 'putting up' a moose, I was also optimistic that I might do it again. There is no end to human folly!

It disappeared somewhere up there into the head of the burn, and it is no doubt there yet!

After breakfast next morning we were all standing on the edge of the verandah of the hut looking up the Cove, enjoying a smoke or a cup of coffee when a large animal started calling. I thought it sounded something like a cross between a koala bear and a camel. It was definitely not a red deer (which I had heard) or a wapiti (which I have also since heard - they really do bugle. Eerie!) - and it was definitely not a bird of any kind, though there were many Canada geese on the Cove (and we had heard their call many times).

Even though we had been there then for a couple of days, we had still not (instinctively) adjusted our hearing's ability to pinpoint where a sound came from to Fiordland's conditions (I have already mentioned the episode of the whistle). It takes a while for perception to adjust. Another example is one's ability to actually focus on these NZ mountains. They are so much steeper than  ours in Australia, they appear to our perceptions to be closer and/or you find yourself actually unable to focus on exactly where they are. Things can seem blurry, eerie. When you go there you will see what I mean.

So I guess we can be forgiven for being unable to work out exactly where the moose was (we were quite sure that was what it must be - and we were right). Our Australian senses made us overlook a flat area near the mouth of the Hilda Burn nearby (too close). It was clearly coming from the next valley over, what we called the 'Waterfall Burn' both because of the waterfall at the bottom, and the even larger one at the top of it. Here is a photo of the lower one, which you can see would be very difficult and dangerous to climb, and which would be death to descend if the stream rose very much in heavy rain. I do not have a photograph, though I have 'seen' the upper one: It is 160 metres, falling straight down from the clouds the day I was there so that one could not see the top. It was as if it just fell from the sky, and so impossible to photograph! There are lots of things like that in the world. I have a fine collection of snaps where you can't make anything out at all!

The Waterfall Burn:

We decided we would somehow climb the Waterfall Burn to find the calling moose. Now, as this was the only time we heard the call (on our second or third day there I think) I might conclude that this was the end of the moose 'Roar' rather than the beginning. You should know that wherever they be in the world, the 'roar' (or mating) of the moose lasts only one week - but it is the very same week each year. Anyway it was the last day of February.

When we returned we searched the net for moose calls. The first one we played was (unknowingly) the sound of a cow moose. When we played that we were disappointed. Fooled again. you know the sort of thing. Then we played the call of the bull moose. Kapow! That was what we heard all right. So, there had been a cow moose in the Hilda Burn and a bull moose just a kilometre from it - clearly a breeding pair. There must be a few more of them even by now!

The first day we tried to ascend the Waterfall Burn we crossed the stream and tried (all day as it turned out) to beat our way up the true left side of the stream. Utterly unsuccessfully. I doubt it was possible, so don't even try! As we were crossing the stream in the morning (just between the waterfall and the walk wire), we were able to wade across, the stream it being only about mid-calf deep. I was not particularly conscious that it was raining heavily all day, but it was certainly raining. It often does in Fiordland you know. Every year at least ten metres of rain, sometimes several times that!

On this occasion when we returned to the crossing about 4:00pm in the afternoon, the stream had swollen monstrously. The walk wire was very nearly submerged. My memory is that we waited for a large tree to roll along under it before we (very trepidatiously) crossed. There is a lesson here: Never expect to be able to get to your destination when walking in Fiordland - or anywhere else for that matter. 'Be Prepared' is actually a good motto. Thanks Baden Powell.

The Waterfall Burn in flood:

Some of the trees which came thundering down the waterfall.

It does rain a lot and streams can easily rise so much (or morasses expand - you get the picture), that movement either way becomes impossible. You will just have to  stop and wait it out. Fortunately as soon as it does stop raining, because of the steepness of the terrain, the streams etc drop as quickly as they rose. The Seaforth for example is reputed to be able to rise 16 metres in a single day! Eddie Herrick himself relates a story wherein he and Jim Muir his guide almost lost their lives because of their inability to return to camp down the Seaforth, or to cross the Henry Burn.

Next day we tried again walking up a little gully between the Hilda and the Waterfall Burn. It was mostly really dreadful going through thick tree fern, boulders etc and with much broken ground underfoot. This is where/when I fell down the moraine hole. When we finally broke out onto the Burn above the waterfall we immediately tied something (a shopping bag I think) to a tree so we could find our way back down again. We were quite anxious. It had been a trying trip of...maybe a kilometre! Then we walked up the stream as far as we could get before we would have to turn around so we would be back at Supper Cove before dark.

In the top of the Waterfall Burn (You can see the shopping bag tied to the tree):

It is quite a large stream, still two-three metres wide up there I guess, and very pretty, though dark. I have been there on a later occasion, perhaps 2006, 2012 or 2013 (I know I was alone; I usually am) and walked as far as the top waterfall. There had been a moose in this valley recently. There were fresh-ish footprints - given the amount of rain the day before they had to have been no more than a day old, and there was quite a lot of browse. We did not see a moose, or any deer but after all, the hunt is what it's all about. That and seeing fresh sights, some of which maybe no man has seen before, or will again!

A morass in the Waterfall Burn.

I can remember seeing sign there again on a subsequent trip, but what exactly I cannot remember. Browse, marks, droppings...they all blur a bit with time. This year (2017) I realised I had seldom (if ever) actually photographed the browse so I could point it out to people later on (I did not have this blog before, so I had no reason!) There was plenty of old browse in the Hauroko (which I snapped some examples of), then a little barking as I descended into Loch Maree (which I forgot to snap). After that again along the Seaforth there was browse, but by then I had forgotten to take pictures altogether. You just get to enjoying the experience, thinking about other things etc. Last year I walked almost all the way back down from Everest without taking a single photo, though I saw many things I had not noticed on the way up. I had pneumonia is my excuse, but I doubt I will be going back to capture those missing snaps.

For example, in 2006 I took this snap of a couple of ducks. Look behind them though and you can see the height of the browse line on the shiny leaved tree on the right.

We walked back towards the Hilda Burn. The walk wire was out when we were there in 2000 so we had to walk down along the stream to the bottom, cross there and walk along the beach to the hut if the tide was high. If it was a bit lower, we would cross as much of Supper Cove as we could, then cut inland towards the mouth of the Hilda Burn, so our route was a bit different each time, always walking off-track. And that afternoon, in the fading light we found where the bull had been when we heard him call! And he had clearly been camped there for a couple of days, pretty much in sight of the hut - so much closer than we had estimated. But he was not there now. Probably he had gone up to join the cow at the head of the Burn! So much country. And it is utterly impossible to 'track' anything in that country. All you ever see is the odd print. The eternal moss swallows everything up, including sound.

There is this, though. That was 17 years ago now: a pair of moose within a stone's throw of the Supper Cove hut. If you imagine that they managed to breed every year, even if the mortality rate is very high or the fertility rate very low there have to still be a number of moose within cooee of the mouth of the Seaforth. There is still food for them there, and every time I go I can see browse I did not see the time before. Every time I go, I find 'fresh' moose tracks. Conditions in Fiordland are such that you just won't see prints that are a week old. There are just so many places they can easily travel with their long legs and wonderfully constructed feet where no man could possibly go. Because they are so tall they can reach food on precipitously steep slopes where red deer would have no hope.

I think it was not until the second day on that first trip that I began to notice the moose browse, despite having found moose droppings and spied some moose footprints - and having been looking hard. It was not until I came down with an itchy back probably from a sandfly my shirt had failed to stop, and had sidled up to a tree to scratch the middle of my back that, as I did so, my neck craned up and I began to see this characteristic branch breaking and snapping, oh -  so far up! Being used to sambar or red deer browse one just automatically scans the forest at just that height, but these big boys easily reach up more than a couple of feet higher than 'our' deer.

Brett pointing out some moose browse:

Another day on that trip (there were not many more, worse luck) I walked around the point of land on the other side of Supper Cove against the river before the Waterfall Burn. Many of the coprosma trees on the point had been snapped off at just the height moose love to browse 8+ feet. There was no other sign. I thought at the time maybe they were driven lower down like this in the coldest weather as sambar can be somewhat in our mountains, (There are even times that Supper Cove freezes over!) but I have since found plenty of fresh browse lower down and misdoubt now that moose suffer at all from cold. It was just a silly thought really. With moose the opposite is the case, I suspect. They suffer more from hotter weather. NZ summers of 24C or the like can perhaps be quite uncomfortable for a large Arctic animal. It is then, I suspect they spend a greater part of the day lying up in cool deep pools in the burns where the few that have been shot over the years were invariably taken.

That day we continued up as far as the ladder just above the McFarlane Burn looking for Michael who had stayed out overnight without explaining himself, so we were a bit worried - but he is an old bushman. He had a small tent (we knew) and his sleeping bag. So, of course he was fine. He had even managed to light a small fire. Well done indeed. On the way up in the middle of the track we saw an old mark we thought might have been a moose, but it could have been just several deer prints over each other some time past.

In just about the same spot quite near the Old Supper Cove hut site (which is where the track rejoins the Seaforth above the Henry Burn) I have on a number of occasions seen a relatively fresh moose track: once I would say that morning's - if it had been a sambar we would have tried to start the hounds on it once - and on another occasion about a day old, I guess. So the moose do still hang around their old haunt, the Henry Burn, or 'Moose Creek' as Herrick and the other old-time hunters used to call it.

Brett and Michael meet near the McFarlane Burn:

Old Supper Cove Hut site - you can still see the tree fern trunks which formed its floor. A pity they did not leave it standing as it was an important survival shelter - and of historical interest!

I was quite hooked by Fiordland and the Dusky after this trip and vowed to return as often as I could, an ambition with which Della fortunately concurred. It is not every man who has such a splendid wife, I know. What I have done to deserve such good fortune is a mystery to me - may it long be so. Well, it has. But circumstances (and finances) intervened to mean that it would be six years before I could make the trip again. I had returned from the first trip with a reasonable 8-point red deer rack by the way - but I have never taken a gun again. I think the moose need as much chance to breed as we can give them. Besides, guns are very heavy - weighing as much as a week's food really.

In 2006, I decided I could get away for a short trip (a week - if you are a farmer, a week away is an eternity). I decided I would fly in to Supper Cove, stay a couple of days then walk out. I had no idea even if I could do this at all at the grand old age of 56! The track brochures warned how hard it would be, and recommended only fit young folk should try it, & etc. Some of them even die. Fortunately I am young at heart, as I was still able to complete the trip this year at 68!

This was to be my introduction to 'ultralight hiking'. I knew that the weather could make a short trip much longer. Also I did not know whether at my age I would be able to make the distances between the huts, and might have to camp out most nights if I was going to be safe. I had already reasoned that a hammock and tarp would be the safest thing to camp in in Fiordland, so we had been busy making prototypes and had come up with a home-made 2 oz/yd2 hammock  and a 1.3 oz'yd2 silnylon tarp to go with it. This arrangement then weighed around 7-800 grams altogether, less than half the weight of any tent I owned or could have bought I must say, and much lighter than anything then commercially available as well - even if they did look a bit amateurish. I had camped out in it lots of times in the Gippsland bush, so i was quite confident in it.

This is the wonderful ultralight hammock I am now using, a Hummingbird: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-hummingbird-in-the-hand/ Photo is on the beach between the boat shed and the helipad, Supper Cove.  You see what I mean about being able to just camp anywhere (If there are trees) with a hammock!

I bought a Gossamer Gear G4 pack at 450 grams (which I still use sometimes), and I think back then I was still using a Snugpack or Vango synthetic bag which weighed around 8-900 grams (not my sub 600 gram Montbell I use now). I had discovered metho stoves by then, so that was down to a 7 gram model from Minibull plus home-made aluminium flashing windscreen. Back then I used to make fried bread (or Johnny Cakes) every night for lunch on the trail the next day, so I had figured a way to make the stove simmer though I can't remember now what it was! Though quite tasty, it is a bit of a tedious process making 'bread' which I have since then largely abandoned. I will do a post about it in the future though, as it is an important skill. I had moved up to a new digital camera, a Pentax Optio S40 with a 3X zoom which only weighed about 100 grams (saving at least 400 grams on my old film camera).

Back then I was still wearing either Redback Alpine Hiker leather boots (or their Blundstone equivalent) which weighed 600-650 grams dry and about another 50-100 wet, so actually much better than most boots folk still wear today. They are a good, tough boot and if you want a leather boot, I swear by them. I had earlier moved down from ex-army wool shirts and trousers to Columbia nylon shirts and pants. They are vastly lighter, but your upper body especially gets dreadfully smelly wearing them (even when you wash them and put them back on again wet as I used to do then, even if Fiordland!)

When the weather is sufficiently cool (which it almost always is in NZ), I would now wear either an Icebreaker of a Kathmandu light woolen shirt which you can wear for a week without washing (yourself or it) and never mind getting downwind of yourself, though others may disagree! I think back then I still used my lovely Snugpack synthetic coat which probably weighed as much as 600 grams. I was stronger then. I was probably using one of Big Agnes excellent inflatable mats which weighed just under 600 grams from memory, but I might ave skimped and taken a Thermarest self-inflater I suppose which weighed a little less - and was a lot less comfortable besides. And a lot colder in colder weather I might add. I have a lighter, better kit now I think. See eg: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-gorilla-in-the-hand/

On the first day up from Supper Cove to Loch Maree, just as I was about to pass opposite the Roa Stream which is on the other side of the river heading upriver (ie on the true left bank), I heard something in the water like a deer clattering across (going I'm not sure which way) and which given the prevalence of red deer there it often is. I have rarely managed to get a photo of them as they usually make off pretty smartly just like sambar in the dense bush. By the same token a hundred metres or so later on at about the point that the noise in the river was, there were very fresh prints of a huge animal crossing the track. It had clearly come out of the Roa stream, and crossed the river and passed just in front of me, and gone very obviously around the edge of  the swampy bit on the true right bank (not a bad place to camp actually) and then up into the bush on my left. And not very long ago.

You might think a swampy bit like this would be attractive to a moose, but they are a forest creature. This one skirted this particular swamp opposite the Roa Stream.

I could not really tell whether the splashing and the tracks were one and the same. I did have a bit of a look around for it for maybe an hour, but as I could not be sure whether the tracks might have been made earlier that morning or just as I approached, I did not spend a lot of time on it. It wasn't just standing around waiting for me to take a pic of it at any rate. It is a seven hours plus walk for me (then) to Loch Maree, so I pressed on, still arriving after dark in fact, as I have done on a couple of occasions.

It is a long walk, particularly if the tide is in and you can't take the 'short-cut' across the Cove. Later on I was talking to Ken Tustin on the phone. He told me that he and his wife Marg were on that very day high in the Roa stream finding lots of fresh moose browse, so I think it is very likely they pushed this guy out the bottom of the valley and across the track in front of me. This suggests a strategy to me of how a couple of very fit young people might get a snap of a moose - but it would be a pretty wild chance, I guess - and depend on there being more moose there than may be the case.

My purpose on this trip was merely to see if I could walk the Supper Cove to Manapouri 'leg' of the Dusky Track which I was very pleased to have managed in four long days when I finished, even managing a cold beer (and a much needed shower) on the evening of the fourth day! I saw no-one the whole trip, something which I always find very pleasant!

I really enjoyed the trip and purposed to take my oldest daughter Irralee with me the following year, which I did. In 2007, when we arrived at the Supper Cove hut we found that we had missed the resident moose by about a week. There was an awful lot of moose browse all around the hut, trees snapped over all around and some barking behind the hut, just in back of the toilet. Another hunter who had arrived the day before in fact pointed the barking out to us. We had no need to have the other browse pointed out. It was right in front of the hut. The tracks were all washed away and the droppings were falling apart - which is how I arrived at the conclusion of being a week late.

Some of the moose browse in front of the hut: Can you spot the twigs which have been bitten right off 8-9' up?

It would be truly awesome to wake up at the Supper Cove hut and be greeted by a moose outside the window whilst you were eating your muesli for breakfast! That year there was also quite a bit of moose browse on the fuchsia coming down from the slip above the Kenneth Burn to the Gair Loch (on the second day out from Supper Cove), but again it was over a week old.

Irralee is pointing out some Fuchsia browse near the Gair Loch.

Some old barking encountered on the way:

I again walked the track with my son, Bryn in 2008. There were a couple of spots where we found old tracks ('old' in Fiordland probably means at most a day) - anyway the animal wasn't standing in them. From memory again they were near the Old Supper Cove Hut site (ie near the Henry Burn) and near the Kintail Hut as we were crossing the walk wire over the Seaforth there - quite fresh tracks on the sand there, probably from that morning.

Of course you are always on the lookout for whatever made them, and you make forays off into the bush in the direction they appear to be heading, but the bush is so vast (and so thick) and the moose so sparse that it is a hopeless task, really. All that I can say is that you won't see a moose standing in the main street in town back home. if you want to see a Fiordland moose, you will have to be tramping around in the vastness of that wonderful forest. I would hope you shoot one only with a camera really. I have grown quite fond of them - from a distance anyway!

A couple of examples of some barking we found.

This looks like it is probably only a week old at most. Usually/oftenthe barking is much higher, 7 or 8 feet.

The browse around the Supper Cove hut (and the barking) from the year before were still clearly visible (and identifiable) a year later, by the way. In fact two years later, as my daughter was able to point it out to me on our second trip there together in 2009.

You can still see it here in 2009 with a fantail sitting on it.

Bryn and I watched this red deer stag (centre) as we were crossing the Henry Burn. A decent zoom on a waterproof camera would be a plus! You will spot him eventually!

I canoed the Seaforth in 2009, probably one of the silliest things I have ever done. As I was portaging around the shores of Loch Maree - I was walking along the shoreline so I might see any prints rather than walking the track; the water level was low enough to do so that year - they were having a drought in Fiordland. It didn't rain for the whole 13 days we were in the South Island altogether! Anyway, I came across an old set of moose tracks around about where the walk wire about half way along the Loch is. As it hadn't rained for ages, they could have been over a week old. It had just come down to the Loch for a drink, then headed back up the little valley it had come down from.

I was at Supper Cove again in 2011 with Della, but we had to leave precipitously only about an hour after we arrived as Della managed to dislocate her shoulder slipping off a rock. Ouch! Thank goodness for helicopters! No moose that year!

I walked the track again in 2012 in company with a young American, Steve Hutcheson I met at Supper Cove and an Israeli, named Renan Tsorin. Steve and I had about five days at Supper Cove, him fishing and me tramping around in the bush looking for moose. I remember I found some old tracks on the ridge above the Supper Cove hut and in the Hilda Burn - and obviously some browse. I found the same thing along the Henry Burn. I guess I walked nearly half way up it to the fork you must follow if you are to walk over into Herrick Creek - so probably to about the place a couple of the Fiordland moose were shot, long ago. No sign of them now of course.

Here is a (very) old print (the triangular indentation above the glasses case) all filled in with leaves. This would have to be about as old as you are going to be able to see a print in Fiordland - say over a week. This one was over a kilometre up on the ridge behind the hut

Looking down towards the fiord coming down from way up there. The going is pretty steep:

Particularly above Loch Maree along the river on the true left bank there was a lot of moose sign, mainly older browse - say up to a year old. I walked along the river for about three kilometres by myself above the Loch Maree hut and up the Deadwood Stream a bit before crossing over to the track. The young fellows following the track were quite surprised at how I managed to get ahead of them! The river level that year was again very low, so I could do this (and avoid a slow, nasty section of track for the first hour upriver out of Loch Maree). I figured this moose was a resident of the Deadwood Stream which looks big enough to hold a number of them! There was old browse here and there along the river that year - but no tracks.

However as we walked up through the huge slip above the Kenneth Burn, a moose had walked along ahead of us barking the trees quite obviously. I remember pointing this out to Renan, using my fingernails to mimic the action of his giant teeth, and angling my head to indicate how he must have made the bites. I must look a circus sometimes. I wish I had taken photographs! Then, just about where the saddle is before you start to go down again to the Gair Loch, there was a patch of fuchsia on our right which had been the home of a moose for I'd say the best part of a week. S/he had had a really good feed on I guess and acre or two of fuchsia. Anyone who doubted the continued existence of moose in Fiordland would be hard put to explain the extent of its high foraging activity there. I remember a couple of days later I was walking with Steve in the Upper Spey and also pointing out to him some very old moose browse there - in the vicinity of the Dashwood Stream.

This is part of the huge Fuchsia filled slip above the Kenneth Burn where a moose had been browsing for days in 2012. Plenty of food here.

It is a huge area of Fuchsia. There are many such in Fiordland - few as easy of access though.

I had a back operation in 2013 so any Fiordland trips were out that year.

I spent a few days by myself at Supper Cove in 2014 (flying both in and out on that occasion). It was lovely to have the hut to myself for a few days, to go out in the morning exploring the bush around about and in the afternoon catching myself some blue cod for my supper. The most delicious fish anywhere, trust me. Do bring a hand line and a fry pan if you venture that way. I was going to walk out, but on the very last night before the day I would have to leave the next morning of, a party of twelve young people arrived even though none had been there for a month! Of course I tried to persuade them to stay a day and do some fishing (even offering them my line, etc), but they insisted on starting out the next day as well.

All alone in the Supper Cove Hut

I could spread out.

And enjoy some tasty blue cod for tea.

Well one night in a crowded hut with people whose heads were filled with the usual certain certainties of the young was enough for me, so I called up Alan from Wings on Water (who had brought me in) and flew out again. I used the couple of spare days so gained to go have a look at the start of the South Coast Track (out of Tuatapere) walking out to Port Craig and back whilst I was there. I confess I was hurrying along this section - and even walked the beach 'track' all the way from the Hoka Stream. I was not looking for moose sign as I thought this was too far from their 'normal' haunts. I was just checking out the track thinking it was probably easy enough to take Della on the next year. (it was). I was surprised therefore when I spied (on the return trip of course) a small example of moose browse quite close the the shore after the Track Burn - before you begin the climb up the innumerable steps to the Rowallan.

Della and I attempted to walk out to Westies Hut along the South Coast Track in 2015, but got only as far as the Waitutu River as it turned out, because of Della injuring her knee. We rested up and did walk all the way back to the Rowallan though. The same old browse I saw the year before was still there, but I confess i was just not looking out for moose sign along the way - I was looking out for Della!

We headed back out on the South Coast track again in 2016 intent on beating it this time, and getting all the way to Westies or even Big River. Westies as it turned out. It was a lovely trip, our reports of which you can read about eg here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-walk-in-fiordland/ You should really do it! Again, I was mainly intent on looking after Della (who is partially sighted) to be paying overmuch attention to moose sign, though there was a bit of old sign about here and there - for example a little over an hour out from the Waitutu heading for Westies.

When we were walking out from the Wairaurahiri with Pete Baldwin from the wonderful Waitutu Lodge at the Wairaurahiri Mouth, I was explaining to him what he should look for if he ever had the chance to get 'into' the Seaforth country. Right near the Edwin Burn trestle crossing there was an obvious patch of old moose browse, the branches snapped over and stripped in their characteristic way about 8' up, but maybe 1-2 years old. Nothing else could possibly do such a thing. So, there are moose that far East in Fiordland yet.

I have now realised that I smelled a moose in the Hauroko Burn last trip (back in April 2017) and I am really kicking myself for not having stopped, camped and investigated See: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/follow-your-nose/). As I said there: 'I have a confession (of stupidity) to make. Somewhere during this section between the two upper walk wires on the Hauroko Burn, Fiordland, NZ (You can imagine it is in the photo below) I encountered quite  a strong ‘animal’ smell not unlike a goat. I thought to myself at the time, ‘Well, it’s not a deer’. Then I thought, ‘Could it be a plant?’ You know how Dogwood in Australasia is so named because it smells somewhat like wet dog. I thought to myself  ‘I wonder whether the Leather Wood which you encounter just before the tops in NZ (and which is redolent with the musty odour of countless red deer) is so called because it smells of leather?’

There is a sweet cloying honey-like smell you sometimes encounter in these Fiordland forests I have never been able to identify, nor has anyone else I have spoken to been able to pick it for me. (it is not the flower of the ubiquitous tiny epiphytic orchid). It was not that though. I am pretty good on scents having been a hunter all my life. I instantly galvanise to a whiff of fox, roo, wombat, stag, goat, etc.

I scanned the forest about. Saw nothing. Thought to myself, ‘I do not want to arrive at Lake Roe in the dark’ (The hut is hard enough to find as it is, particularly in thick cloud, being off the line to the right); I also had a long way to go, so I carried on. Since then, I have bothered to check what a moose smells like. You guessed it. Goatish. Just like what I was smelling on the Hauroko that day!

There was a moose not 200 metres upwind from me, and I walked on. Despite having a tarp and hammock and more than a week of food, so that I could have spent days hunting it! And I would have doubtless ‘put it up’ withing ten minutes! Dream on! Despite the fact that one of the important reasons I go there is to see a moose. Despite the fact that I had photographed fairly fresh moose barking just back there a little (as you can see below). Despite the fact there is a $100,000 reward for a photo of a NZ moose, I walked on! Lesson: Trust your nose!’

My knee is still not right from an injury in the Hilda Burn on that trip which brought an early end to my off-track explorations then (there was still old browse in the Hilda), so I am wondering about my future ability to do so again, but I am working on it – an hour every morning in the gym and an hour every afternoon walking - on top of my normal farming activities, but at just shy of 70 it takes longer to heal and to get fitter again. Every day though I feel stronger, and have just completed a six day off-trail hike in the Vic mountains, and climbed Qld's tallest mountain, so there is hope!

It was interesting that the Hauroko was nearly eaten out, but with lots of old sign (and clearly a resident moose!) And that there was a 'bloom' of new plants coming up I had not seen in Fiordland before) Yet coming down from Lake Roe to Loch Marie for example, there was oodles of moose plants without much moose sign at all - though some barking. Clearly the moose are fairly light on the ground. Each likely has an enormous territory, perhaps 2-500 hectares, but that still adds up to a lot of moose in Fiordland National Park!

I had this note about the moose on the first of my posts about my 2017 trip: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/from-dawn-to-dusky/

The Elusive Fiordland Moose: Along the way there is sporadic moose sign if you are alert and keen eyed. Nothing else could reach up 2.5-2.7 metres (8-9'), break off branches as thick as your thumb and strip them, or devour all the lower vegetation of their favourite broadleaf plants, or systematically bark trees, or leave footprints as big as a cow's.These solitary leviathans yet roam these forests unseen. I took these shots in an arbitrary few hundred yards walking up the Hauroko.

This coprosma has been systematically broken off about 2.5 metres up.

And this.

Broadleafs have commonly been stripped to this height.

They like to snack on nutritious bark as they amble along.

Leaving footprints as long as my glasses case. Like this:

Or this.

Someday someone will stumble round a corner onto one and snap its pic. A girl from Scotland wrote in the hut book way back in 2000 she had seen one! Already two confirmed C21st DNA samples have been collected, and one or two indistinct photos. It is only a matter of time...

I don't know at this stage whether I will be doing a lot more 'moose hunting' in Fiordland. Mostly these days we go there for the walk anyway and because it is just so beautiful. Any moose we see would no doubt be a bonus - and we surely won't see them elsewhere! I do have a couple of 'new' ideas on how we might find further proof of the continued existence of the NZ moose herd. More about that later.

And oh, I have been thinking about Ken Tustin's theory that the red deer will 'eat out' the moose. I now suspect the opposite is the case because the moose can reach higher, and will obviously break branches down for their young. You can imagine the young moose nearing weaning - they suckle for a long time too - straining upwards as its mother feeds and vocalising, every now and then being able to snag a leaf she lets drop & etc. They are messy eaters at best. I figure she would get the idea and help it feed. They routinely ‘walk down’ trees for themselves, for example. I remember noticing this phenomenon the very first day I was in Fiordland (in the Hilda Burn back in 2000) and wondering what could have produced the phenomenon I was seeing. I had never seen anything like it in the Victorian bush despite it being overrun by sambar deer who are very keen browsers too.

I have noticed that in the areas which appear more eaten out (by moose and everything) that the moose browse seems to consist of more branches actually broken off completely whereas in the less eaten out areas, they tend to be just broken over. I need to spend more time there to confirm this, something which may not happen in this lifetime.

I realise I do not know how this 'boom and crash' population dynamics works (with any creature) though, so maybe I am wrong. I am not a wildlife biologist, but I have been a farmer and hunter for a long while. Some places look very eaten out by deer, particularly along river banks and near huts and other clearings, yet in other steeper places there is little sign of any grazing animals. Another interesting observation: along the Hauroko for example, there is this shiny leaf tree which moose obviously like. In many places it was browsed lower from the river bottom than it was from the river bank (but in each case as high as a moose could reach ie 8'+ up) giving it a lopsided appearance. I had not noticed this before. No doubt there are lots of other ‘signs’ which escape one’s attention for years.

Here is a tree moose quite like, (I don't know what it is called). You can see that this one which is hanging out over a precipice (in the Hauroko) has still been browsed ( a long time ago) as far as a moose can reach out, and certainty further than anything else could.

Here the moose has been walking along in the stream reaching up and has mown these trees to a precise height. They have even managed to strip some of the branches hanging down. You see this everywhere. We went down the Wairaurahirti River in a jet boat (twice - and Della wants to go again, and again. So should you!) Anywhere this plant could be reached it was trimmed to about 8-9' from the ground (or where a moose could stand) , but where nothing could reach it (eg in a very deep rapid) it was actually touching the water.

In 17 years I have not been able to get back to Fiordland in the summer. By the time we have been able to stop watering our garden and watching out for the 'bushfires' that a ratbag collection of maniacs have taken to lighting every summer in our part of the world it is at best late March, usually April, sometimes May. And of course I am often there when the 'Roar' is on so every moose has been scared well away from the valley bottoms by ubiquitous deer hunters. It's like always going sambar stalking on a full moon, or in early Spring when the deer have moved back from the valley bottoms (as fresh feed pops out from under the snow - and the young are born. Not such a good time for hunting.

I do always find old sign though, sometimes not that old even. I am convinced if i could spend several summers walking along in the streams there I would put up another moose. I'm not sure whether at my age I can do such hard work in hot, steamy weather, and I don't know whether I will ever be able to get away at such a time or not.

Perhaps!

PS: I wrote this article at Ken Tustin's request, as he is preparing a new edition of his book/a new book about the Fiiordland moose. He and he wife are the true moose experts and heroes of this interesting saga. More about them here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/nz-moose/

PS: The 'Cover' photo was sent to me from Sweden by my son, Bryn on this day (24/10) 2011. He must have known I would find a use for it! European moose are smaller than the Canadian moose which live in Fiordland, by the way.

29/10/2017: A Year Ago Today, I was walking up to Everest with Steve Hutcheson: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/i-followed-my-footsteps/

29/10/2017: Bacon Sandwich Anyone: Betsy Booren Vice President of Scientific Affairs North American Meat Institute, ‘They tortured the data to ensure a specific outcome…Red and processed meat are among 940 agents reviewed by IARC and found to pose some level of theoretical ‘hazard.’ Only one substance, a chemical in yoga pants, has been declared by IARC not to cause cancer.’ YES, Seriously: YOGA PANTS! I eat a lot of them! 40 out of 50 common foods also pose a cancer ‘risk’ according to this study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23193004/  What ARE we to eat?

29/10/2017: Freedom and Death: One of my favourite books when I was a teenager was Nikos Kazantzakis’ wonderful ‘Freedom and Death’ whose sentiment echoed Patrick Henry’s famous statement: ‘Give me liberty, or give me death’. Of course, with liberty we need to expect a certain amount of collateral damage: freedom is ever paid for with the blood of patriots. Such folk might just be our own children maybe skinning their knee or breaking the odd bone as they are allowed (nay encouraged) to ‘Go outside and play’ and ‘Don’t bother mummy’ – You remember that? Our children (and grandchildren) need much more of that, and much less of the cossetting, lest they grow up to be like the fragile flowers we see all about us today: https://reason.com/archives/2017/10/26/the-fragile-generation

28/10/2017: The Good News: The World's Poorest People Are Getting Richer Faster than Anyone Else: ‘In 1820, 94 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty (less than $1.90 per day adjusted for purchasing power). In 1990 this figure was 34.8 percent, and in 2015, just 9.6 percent. In the last quarter century, more than 1.25 billion people escaped extreme poverty.’ Thank You Capitalism: https://fee.org/articles/the-worlds-poorest-people-are-getting-richer-faster-than-anyone-else/

28/10/2017: Update of my 2012 post: ‘It's a little worse than 'The dog ate my homework'! Someone has stolen both the file at Slater & Gordon and the file at the WA Corporate Affairs which would prove Gillard's criminal complicity in the 'Wilson Affair' - but, remember this: someone still has them!’ Well, now Michael Smith clearly has them. Very day he is publishing great gobs of incriminating stuff about her and Wilson. Remember, she could sue him for defamation but she would lose that too, because what he says is true. She is/was one of Australia’s largest crooks. Smith’s private prosecution will succeed, and she will go to gaol: Utterly unfit to hold public office. Her prosecution (and Shorten’s- probably) will destroy the Labor Party’s chance at the next election, unless it is held in the next few weeks – with Turnbull still as Liberal leader; hopefully not! This does not mean the Liberals will win. I think outsiders are still in there with a chance. Remember Trump and Macron, for example. I hope Malcolm Roberts runs for New England, for example – he is one of the finest members we have had in the last 50 years: http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/

28/10/2017: Private Property: How we need a ‘Boneta Bill’ here too! One of the few ‘rights’ in our constitution is the right to private property (and its converse) that Government may not confiscate it without (paying) just compensation. Yet the examples of Government doing just that are legion; from simple idiotic ordinances such as the children’s birthday party planning permit which provoked Boneta, to large scale confiscation of farmland for ‘environmental’ reasons… Frankly it frightens me to realise what most people (leftists) consider  to be ‘rights’. Their ‘rights, almost invariably mean the confiscation of someone else’s property for the ‘good’ of someone else (themselves?). The right to work, free speech, freedom of assembly, bear arms, self protection, justice, national defence…etc are low down on their list. Do they even make their list?  http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/10/virginia_farmer_starts_property_rights_legal_revolution.html

27/10/2017: A British adventurer has flown 25km (15.5 miles) across South Africa suspended from 100 helium balloons: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-bristol-41737642?SThisFB

27/10/2017: So, you thought Trump was starting a war against North Korea? Perhaps you should ask the Chinese: https://www.weaselzippers.us/361357-report-chinese-north-korea-relationship-at-end-another-missile-test-will-mean-war-by-the-chinese-against-north-korea/

27/10/2017: Yet Another Silent Spring: ‘There is no credible evidence whatsoever that glyphosate – or RoundUp – is carcinogenic. The only reason some people believe otherwise is because of scaremongering articles like this, derived from misinformation which originates from this UN agency, the IARC. How do we know it’s untrue? Thanks to a special investigation by Reuters, which found that the IARC had completely misrepresented the available research on glyphosate.’ http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/10/23/delingpole-science-establishment-rocked-scandal-un-cancer-chemical/ This is just another example of Green evil. You remember when they did this with DDT, and 100 million people died as a result? They also did so with neonicotinoids: http://www.breitbart.com/london/2014/12/05/investigation-how-green-activist-scientists-rigged-an-eu-pesticide-ban-costing-farmers-and-businesses-billions/

26/10/2017: Western civilization heading over a cliff; thanks Frau Merkel: http://www.frontpagemag.com/point/268214/germany-terror-cases-quadruple-900-daniel-greenfield 

26/10/2017: Global Warming going over a cliff too: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/10/25/so-far-this-year-400-scientific-papers-debunk-climate-change-alarm/

26/10/2017: Toughen Up: Why Don’t People Understand What It Is To Be a Soldier: (The Trump ‘Telephone Incident’): http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2017/10/24/ex-green-beret-says-what-special-forces-really-think-about-niger-goes-viral-on-twitter/  & https://fee.org/articles/trump-s-general-is-right-soldiering-is-not-a-normal-job/  & http://dailycaller.com/2017/10/19/the-general-speaks-kelly-urges-americans-to-remember-what-is-sacred/

26/10/2017: How Sure Are We That The Universe Is 13.8 Billion Years Old? https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/10/21/ask-ethan-how-sure-are-we-that-the-universe-is-13-8-billion-years-old/#60859d8060ac

25/10/2017: This is really moving. Watch a colour blind man see for the first time: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/once-was-colour-blind-now-can-see/news-story/b18dddb1f148beb5c658adf713601ac1

25/10/2017: Marise Payne (another Turnbull clone) just keeps showing herself to be a dead head. Compare her take on the danger of returning jihadists with her British counterpart: Rory Stewart: ‘We have to be serious about the fact these people are a serious danger to us, and unfortunately the only way of dealing with them will be, in almost every case, to kill them.’ Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne: ‘Australians who have joined Daesh are subjected to the same risks as any other member of the criminal organisation and should expect to perish on the battlefield.’ Tip: Learn the difference between active and passive voice, Marise. I know you will think this sounds awfully sexist too, but I would like it if our Defence Minister looks like s/he could take on one or two baddies himself/herself (and the same goes for cops). Even Julie looks like she could knock a couple of head together, but Marise (like Kim Beazley before her) looks like she might pose a danger to baddies is s/he sat on them - supposing they were slow-moving enough!

25/10/2017: CO2: The Culprit: Some things you might NOT know: Ice core expert Jaworowski states, ‘The basis of most of the IPCC conclusions on anthropogenic causes and on projections of climatic change is the assumption of low level of CO2 in the pre-industrial atmosphere. This assumption, based on glaciological studies, is false.’ http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/10/17/deconstruction-of-the-anthropogenic-global-warming-agw-hypothesis-2/

25/10/2017: Energy Crisis: It's amazing that over a century after Einstein's 'e=mc2' that some folks are still worried about 'The Energy Crisis'. Controlled nuclear fusion (not such a long way off now < twenty years?) will end all such concerns. Progress will also be made on understanding such spectacular energy phenomena as ball lightning, sprites, 'cosmic rays', neutrinos, gravity & etc. It will be a much better world in the future. Fear not!

24/10/2017: Our largest army: Fortunately, despite huge Government interference before (and after) Port Arthur, Australia's hunters still represent a larger 'army' than our official army, and as demonstrated in two World Wars & etc, can be relied on to bolster its numbers with well-qualified soldiers if/when the need ever arises. https://shariaunveiled.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/a-tribute-to-the-worlds-largest-army-americas-hunters/

24/10/2017: Green Fracking: You may think it odd that the green movement opposes fracking for natural gas but support hot fracture rock geothermal technology, which is clearly also fracking but you see, the first works whilst the latter does not – so it’s quite simple really!

24/10/2017: The madness that is Canada – do we really want this here? PS: Canada has a Somali Immigration Minister: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/267563/invasion-canada-daniel-greenfield

23/10/2017: Hein’s Taxidermy: Della just loves stuffed animals which is maybe why she has kept this particular stuffed old animal around for nearly fifty years! It may be a family trait. We have this wonderful family photo circa 1903 of her grandfather as an apprentice hairdresser in Hawick, Scotland outside Richie Law’s shop. As you can see the other specialty of the shop was taxidermy!

If you need fine taxidermy services in Southern Victoria or Gippsland, may I recommend Hein”s Taxidermy at Port Albert. Hein did a beautiful job recently on our late much-loved Dusky Lorikeet, Rusty as the photo below shows.You can contact him from his Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/Heins-Taxidermy-port-albert-1549231728642024/

 23/10/2017: Two great points by Alan Moran: ‘In 1901 the Commonwealth spent 3 per cent of national income. Today it taxes and spends a whopping quarter of the income that firms and individuals earn…The Commonwealth Government in 1901 had 258 pages of regulatory Acts. Today it has more than 100,000 pages’ http://ipa.org.au/news/2769/regulations-that-worked-in-1901-do-not-work-now

23/10/2017: His wife is even battier than he is: Lucy Turnbull, the ‘Greater Sydney Commissioner: ‘It’s only taken us 230 years to catch up with a vision that our indigenous ancestors always had for this city’. Away with them both!

23/10/2017: Bernie Sanders’ Economics #101: ‘Sure, You'll All Pay More Taxes... But You'll Get More Free Stuff’. Bernie was clearly singing from the same hymn book as Labor and the Greens here. Listen up peeps: ‘There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch’: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-19/bernie-americans-sure-youll-all-pay-more-taxes-youll-get-more-free-stuff & https://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/2017/10/19/more-honesty-from-the-left-the-goal-is-big-tax-increases-for-the-middle-class/

http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/10/17/20171019_bernie_0.png

22/10/2017: Hein's Taxidermy:

Some of Hein’s many interesting pieces:

And finally our dear little Rusty the Dusky Lorikeet:

 See also: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/rusty-the-dusky-lorikeet/

While you are at Port Albert you should check out the Old Port Walking trail too, as well as its many other attractions: caravan park, hotel, restaurant, fish and chip shop, fishing charter, boat hire, etc: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/there-is-simply-nothing-like-an-old-port-walking-trail/ We had a brilliant (cheap) meal in the Customs Inn hotel while we were there – best fish’nchips I’ve had in a long while.

22/10/2017: Oradour, the French town the Nazis murdered. Lest we forget, the entire town has been preserved in memory of this terrible event: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oradour-sur-Glane_massacre & http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/france/articles/Oradour-sur-Glane-France-moments-of-Nazi-massacre-frozen-in-time/

http://kooxproductions.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Oradour-photo-2-net.jpg

22/10/2017: From an atheist: So, you think Christianity has nothing to offer: 20 things you should stop doing in your 20s – or never start: https://relevantmagazine.com/article/the-5-things-20-somethings-need-to-stop-doing/?utm_source=sendinblue&utm_campaign=10192017__RELEVANT_This_Week&utm_medium=email

08/11/2017: Four more down: Five altogether (Joyce out until after Dec 2nd) Hawke, Banks, Frydenberg and Alexander. This means Turnbull does not have a majority when the Parliament sits on 27th November. Clearly Shorten will call a quick election straightaway. (Obviously he is not going to agree to a deal which saves Malcolm!) Abbott will be Opposition leader on 28th November. The election will be held just before Xmas, probably 16th December.

08/11/2017: Adjustable Hammock Ridgeline: A Great Idea: It adds 6 grams to my hammock set-up but improves comfort much more than that by allowing a flatter ‘hang’ – and it allows for somewhere to hang your gear. It works on the same principle as the Whoopie Sling. Genius. I bought mine from this guy for A$16.95 (Nov 2017). http://www.tiergear.com.au/11/products/adjustable-hammock-ridgeline

Mine was red. Here it is in action in the garden with Spot supervising:

A variety of Ridgeline Gear Organisers exist to stow various overnight items in (eg phone, glasses, drink bottle, head torch, hearing aids). For example: http://www.tiergear.com.au/11/products/hammock-storage-systemsand http://www.hammockgear.com/hammock-gear-ridgeline-organizer/

These little guys are very handy too. Just add a mini carabiner: http://www.tiergear.com.au/11/products/prussik-loops-pair

Some other ideas here: https://hennessyhammock.com/pages/tips-from-users-1#

Instructions for DIY here: http://www.tiergear.com.au/25/diy-hammock-ridgeline-organiser

Some other good ideas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqlCvHtSDAM  (better if you place the cordlock inside the loop) & here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2-rfD-VA6s

Shown is my Hummingbird Hammock which weighs a mere 147 grams, and which kept me safe in one of the wettest places on the planet the Dusky Track, Fiordland new Zealand. . I would use this set-up with a lightweight tarp such as this Heron Rain Tarp which weighs 8.6 ounces or 245 grams and costs US$144.95 (Nov 2017) or this Standard Hammock Tarp which weighs 7 ounces or 198 grams and costs US$249!.

You could use either tarp as an on-ground shelter and the hammock as a groundsheet if you wanted to – as I explained here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-ultralight-deer-hunter/

See Also: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hammock-hunting-till-dark/

I have many other posts about hammocking, as a search at the top of the page will reveal.

08/11/2017: Astonishing? ‘By 2001...a chicken reached the weight at which it would be killed in one-third of the time and after eating one-third of the food compared with the 1957 breed...represents...reduction in waste and in the..land devoted to growing feed per chicken’ http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/genetics-bigger-chickens

08/11/2017:  ‘Save the Planet’, the ‘great unwashed’ scream, yet we may have already done so (and by the unlikely means of the Industrial Revolution’). Let me explain: Plants need @ 200ppm of CO2 to survive. If the percentage drops below that (ie .02%) life will pretty much cease – yet the pre-Industrial world tilted perilously close to that. The percentage has varied from upwards of 20,000ppm in the time of the dinosaurs for example, down to just over 200ppm over time, during which warm, tropical periods and ice ages came and went completely uncorrelated to its percentage. However, steadily the percentage of CO2 being liberated by vulcanism and other processes eg from the carboniferous rocks, coal & peat deposits etc where it ‘ultimately’ becomes ‘locked up’, declined until just before the Industrial Revolution its percentage was such that the cessation of life on earth was imminent. The forests shrank and great plains and deserts spread across much of the globe as there was not enough CO2 to build any more forests, and much of life had to retreat to what were really oases to survive. Just in the nick of time (folks of a religious persuasion will see this as predestined) as a result of the Industrial Revolution personkind began to liberate vast quantities of carbon in the form of CO2 and a wonderful profusion of life was the result. The forests spread, the deserts and grasslands retreated and once more a profusion of life saturated the planet: We have added a continent the size of Australia of such greenery in a generation. That is the era we are living in: the Anthropocene. It can only get better! Here you see it: The Greening of Europe: You may remember how the ‘conservationists’ once claimed industrialisation was deforestation, that we were massively clearing land even though Landsat showed exactly the opposite was happening. Here most graphically is the evidence that puts the lie to their alarmism. Capitalism is so good for nature it should be compulsory! Hopefully we can soon be rid of the rest of their greenie nonsense; https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/12/04/watch-how-europe-is-greener-now-than-100-years-ago/#comments

07/11/2017: Dino Paleo Diet: Supposing that the science of ‘Jurassic Park’ becomes a reality (or time travel, ‘The Lost World’, etc – all this is imminent, surely?) we will need to face the important practical and ethical issues of killing and eating dinosaurs. Folk will definitely have to do some hard practice at the Range to ensure their accuracy, as Dino’s vulnerable spots are likely quite hard targets. Your normal .30 calibre hunting rifle (even a .457 magnum really) will just punch pin-prick holes in one of these vast beasties, mostly just drawing its attention to you and making it angry. Though a heart shot might cause it to bleed to death eventually, the fact that its heart is likely larger than a bullock will mean that it will have eaten/trampled you before its demise. A brain shot is best, but its brain is likely about the size of your fist and is way up there, surrounded by bone, so shoot carefully. After you have decked it (just supposing) the vital ethical issues arise: Is it halal or kosher? Can you eat it during Lent, Fridays? Dinosaurs lack the necessary cloven hooves to be amongst the kosher herbivores and even if considered as distant relatives of the birds they lack the extra toe. Similarly aquatic plesiosaurs etc would surely be deemed ‘fish without scales’ & etc. That’s surely a lot of meat going to waste, right there. Leviticus might need to be rewritten (well, anyway!), and you might need to raise the height of your lounge room, as that trophy is going to be really big! Anyway, ‘Happy Hunting!’ http://gawker.com/steven-spielberg-exposed-as-inhumane-dinosaur-hunting-1603549847

07/11/2017: 'The Scam from Snowy River' - this is a very thoughtful piece and goes to show what liars and economic illiterates Greens are: http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2011/10/the-scam-from-snowy-river

07/11/2017: Censorship: Once I was opposed to it when its targets were innocuous publications like ‘Lady Chatterly’ and Tropic of Cancer’…then along came various anarchist/terrorist instruction manuals (beginning with eg ‘The Anarchist’s Cookbook’), but things just got worse and worse. Now, I agree with this lady’s call to remove this publication – although I fear that such opposition may soon, if it is not already, be illegal:  http://moonbattery.com/?p=89456

 

06/11/2017: Turnbull is just nuts: Now he proposes that everyone should bring a note saying it’s OK for them to be in Parliament. Who wouldn’t pass that test? http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2017/11/06/turnbull-announces-citizenship--resolution-.html

 

06/11/2017: A friend I have known for 40 years wrote this yesterday: I reckon I am as Australian as anyone and a Turk and a Moslem as well. Do I need to be an anti islamic racist to be Australian? Is that what it takes? I don't think so.’ This was my reply: It's not about 'race' ‘Mohamed’ . It's about nationality. Our Australian nationality has always been as a descendant of Western civilisation, and especially as a member of the English speaking nations - along with all the huge pluses that involves: democracy, the rule of law, private property, free enterprise, support for the disadvantaged & etc. In contrast the Moslem world is decadent and barbaric. It is worth noting that a single college at Oxford University has produced twice as many Nobel Prize winners as the entire Moslem world, as has Israel. Islam has for nearly fifteen hundred years been at war with the West. Often 'we' (ie the West) have wished it were not so, and made enormous efforts to secure a lasting peace, but always without success. Islam is not a religion alone - with the usual silly beliefs in gods, afterlives, quaint customs, etc. More than anything else it is a political movement (like nazism and communism) whose ultimate goal has ever been world domination, and death to all who oppose it. This war will go on and on until one side or the other is eventually eliminated - or until all its adherents utterly reject the despicable teaching of that evil monster, Mohamed, a man who, if he had committed such crimes in the C20th century anywhere except in the Moslem world, would have been tried as a war criminal by the International Court of Justice and deservedly sentenced to life imprisonment or death. You have clearly chosen which side you are on. It is the wrong side. No nation can long tolerate the presence of Fifth Columnists in its bosom. You have had at least 40 years to chose the right side. As more and more Moslems commit dreadful deeds in the West as they do daily, the public's tolerance will wane. Ultimately it will require that people pledge their support for our society on their life, and wholly recant the obnoxious creed of Islam if they wish to remain amongst us. I would hope that those who will not are offered peaceful repatriation to some Islamic country - there are plenty after all. Islam has enslaved nearly a third of the world! I would not like to see wholesale slaughter as has occurred in the past - nearly always when Islam has prevailed. I might add. the latest opinion polls show 75% of the population are opposed to any further immigration and 50% (already) are opposed to any Moslem immigration! And you are posting anti-Israeli jihadist propaganda. Wake up ‘Mohamed’. You are on the wrong side. Israel is the only pluralist democracy in the Middle east and has long been a friend of Australia. Ditch that awful religion, and your unpatriotic allegiances. A further 25% are undecided. They won't be for long - as the long list of Islamic atrocities continues to grow daily. This, the Fifth Crusade which the Moslems started some time back is the first one in history in which atheists form a large portion of the ‘Christian’ forces, or ‘Crusaders’. What has happened is that both Christians and atheists (and many other folk besides – Jews, homosexuals, etc) face death in any triumph of Moslem hegemony. Politics certainly does make strange ‘bedfellows’!

06/11/2017: It sure was hot in 1932: we have never seen anything like it since. See here: http://www.warwickhughes.com/agri/bird%20deaths%201932.pdf

06/11/2017: If renewables can’t provide cheaper electricity on a small windy island with no cheap competitor, where can it compete? What a rort it always is: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/11/abc-renewables-fantasy-island-farewells-diesel-except-for-40-of-its-power/

06/11/2017: The Saudis have paid to put English language copies of ‘The Noble Quran’ everywhere – at airports, prayer rooms, public libraries, etc. It is an evil text which preaches violent jihad, death and enslavement to any who are not Moslems. Plenty of excerpts here for those who are unconvinced. We must ban and expel this vile creed from Australia – as soon as possible: https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2017/11/noble-quran-calling-violent-jihad-australia/

05/11/2017: Seems like Malcolm is down yet another member this morning. Now Hawke and Frydenberg, who simply cannot play the anti-semitic card to escape. His mother clearly entered Australia on a Hungarian passport. She was born in Hungary (whatever the Nazis tried to do to her) and he had to repudiate his Hungarian citizenship – which he did not. He is dead meat, someone who before he allied himself to the execrable Turnbull I though might one day make a half-decent PM! Liberals and Labor have been doing secret audits for weeks now - what I find surprising is that not one Labor member has been 'outed'. The thing is this: Parliament will soon be sitting. You must command a majority in the House of Reps. With Barnaby out (and he may lose his by-election), the LNP have a majority of one, counting the Speaker. With Frydenberg out, they must rely on one of the independents. With Hawke out as well, they must rely on both (Bob Katter Wow!). If there is a confidence vote at that point, (a member only has to be sick/absent) then Shorten is PM - even if only for an hour. Clearly he rushes to the GG and calls an election being 8% ahead in the polls. The Libs immediately dump Malcolm. Who will they run with during the election campaign? Most up-and-comings won't want to touch the leadership at that point as it would mean they would (likely) never be PM - although Andrew Hastie might win it for them, (as Hawke did against Fraser in a similar scenario) if he aligns with Bernardi and Hanson. I think they will run with Tony in that scenario. He will scrape a few seats which Turnbull has lost back - enough at least to make Shorten a one-term PM. Meanwhile Michael Smith's private prosecution against Gillard draws ever closer. He is going to succeed with this. The evidence has become overwhelming. The cops will not be able to ignore it. That's why he is publishing the evidence every day. It will also destroy Shorten. The Frydenberg document from the National Archives courtesy of Thomas Osburg: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155161213937711&set=a.10152808825502711.1073741825.523332710&type=3&theater

05/11/2017: Things to come…How high can it go: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2017/11/04/surge-of-support-in-qld-for-one-nation--poll.html

05/11/2017: Some chicks are nuts: Oh? Yeah: Andrea Dworkin, ‘Woman Hating’: ‘The incest taboo does the worst work of the culture: it teaches us the mechanisms of repressing and internalizing erotic feeling…The destruction of the incest taboo is essential to the development of cooperative human community based on the free-flow of natural androgynous eroticism…The incest taboo can be destroyed only by destroying the nuclear family as the primary institution of the culture. The nuclear family is the school of values in a sexist, sexually repressed society.’ Thinking like this will bring progress?

05/11/2017: Maybe men are on the way out though: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/masculinity-is-toxic/news-story/6e42c8c5a6db42280f78e2f738767fc7

04/11/2017: Ultralight Compact Hiking Pole: We have used GG’s LT4 poles for many years. In just the last year mine have been to Everest and back, and many other places besides, such as the Dusky Track, and Mt Bartle Frère for example. The LT4s are a little long to fit in your pack when you are not using them, though GG packs have attachment points on the outside they can be lashed to. I have a pair of shortened (2’) two section poles which will fit in my pack, but these LT5s will do so right from the store. These would make a great Xmas present for your hiking other if you order them now. https://www.gossamergear.com/products/lt5-three-piece-carbon-trekking-poles-pair  US$195 per pair.

 

The collapsed poles have a short profile

Weight

Pole with strap and basket - 5.3 oz / 150 g

Pole -  4.6 oz / 130 g

Strap and screw - .4 oz / 12 g

Basket - .3 oz / 8 g

Adjust from

23.5" / 60 cm when closed to 51" 130 cm when fully extended for hiking

Section Lengths

Top section 19.5" / 49.53 cm

Middle section 19.25" / 48.98 cm

Tip section 18.75" / 47.62 cm

(Sections are replaceable separately should you break one - unlikely, though I have managed to cut one of my LT4s in half with a machete - don't ask!)

04/11/2017: Undivided Loyalty: Of course there should be an audit and those MPs who are fakes kicked out (and required to pay back moneys illicitly gained). I don’t think ‘dual citizenship should exist at all. (Why should one ‘man’ get two votes yet another only one – or none?) I certainly do not think MPs should be allowed to be dual citizens. Then, If you seek to represent Australia, you should be prepared to give our country your undivided loyalty. I think the same if you are a citizen of Australia. I have no particular objection to (some) citizens of other countries living here as ‘guests’ – but if they don’t behave themselves they should be able to be immediately ejected – as with any unwanted guest! And I think this was a much better country in the 1950s before we imported so many undesirable folk, and squandered most of our wealth in pampering to such ne’er-do-wells! I never thought we should be anything other than a British or European country – and I still think so! You can call me racist – or whatever you like, but you will have to describe the Japanese (and many others) in similar terms, as they do not think Japan should be for anyone other than Japanese either! A nation divided against itself cannot stand! http://pickeringpost.com/story/mark-latham-discusses-an-audit-with-shorten/7737

04/11/2017: We will fight them on the beaches…we will never surrender, by George: ‘the same repulsive strategy seen in Paris and London and Manchester, dignifying as ‘resilience’ what is really an enfeebled passivity no better than the Eloi in H G Wells' The Time Machine, who even as their neighbors are stolen by the Morlocks in the night forget them instantly and gather in the dawn to dance and arrange flowers as if nothing has happened. Free peoples need to recover some righteous anger, or they will lose their futures - and deserve to’. Mark Steyn. Headline: ‘Muslims Fear Backlash from Tomorrow's Terror Attack’

04/11/2017: ‘I, Pencil.’ Essential reading: https://fee.org/resources/i-pencil-audio-pdf-and-html/

03/11/2017: Ultralight Rain Jackets: I am looking around for a new rain jacket of both of us. People’s raincoats often weigh as much as 500 grams. Try weighing yours. So there is nearly a day’s worth of food (weight) to be saved in exploring a change to this item alone.

For many years I hunted deer in winter in the Victorian mountains carrying only a bum-bag or one of those poacher’s vests to keep all my gear down to a minimum. If it was not raining when I started out so that I was wearing my raincoat (which I would tie around my waist - as you do) if it stopped, all I ever carried was one of those 50 gram emergency ponchos (orange is a good colour in case you need to be found!). Often it rained all day. Admittedly I shredded them completely in the rough bush, but they even then they did keep me substantially dry. If you are track walking only, (and are careful with them - and have a bit of emergency repair tape besides) you can keep one going for several days. The best part is they cost only $1-3! You would be even better carrying one of Coghlans Emergency Survival Ponchos (mylar) at 88 grams and approx $10 as they will also keep you warm – even overnight in an emergency.

PS: Waterproofness and Breathability: I doubt very much of a raincoat ever needs to be over 1500mm of waterproofness. What this means ois that the fabric will support a column of water 1500mmm height (That’s 5’ in English!) before it begins to leak. Unless you are planning to use your raincoat as a boat, that will be quite enough. I doubt it can ver rain hard enough to exceed the weight of 5’ of water pressing onto it. Mind you, where there is also other pressure (eg your shoulder straps, that will have to be added to the waterproofness, so maybe, just maybe. Most every raincoat is over 10,000mmm of waterproofness, so I think you can probably ignore any figure over this. They will all keep out the rain!

As to breathability. I admit I was awestruck when Goretex first came along and wasted lots of good money on their rain jackets. I never found they were any better than my old oiled or waxed japaras. Under the right (or wrong) conditions of humidity you would get soaked to the skin in either! I have thought Event was a little better, but I have since been utterly drenched in that too – so I don’t know. A girl reviewing the Arcteyx below claims utterly superior breathability – perhaps I need to try that out!

We have a number of reasonably lightweight raincoats, some of which have done us sterling service in pretty wet places like Fiordland or Southern Tasmania, for example. Sometimes though, you can not like the feel or fit of a particular coat without finding any other fault with it. It is probably much like shoes and handbags (or cats as Lewis Carroll used to say): you just can’t have too many of them. Naturally though, the lighter the fabric the less durable the jacket will be in rough going. If you are going to be doing a lot of bush-bashing over the life of your jacket you should not choose an ultralight raincoat. We would mainly be buying a new ultralight jacket as a weight saving to have in our packs on multi-day hikes when we were not expecting it to rain.

Naturally I would want a raincoat Mens Size (eg Large) which is at least under 200 grams and preferably under 150, and one in Womens Size (eg Small) for Della which is under 150 and preferably under 120. Available colour can be a problem for some people. For example, I have a white raincoat, which is fine except I want it to be green. Probably neither of us wants to own another blue one – and so on. Price can also be an important factor. I have been looking at some possible choices:

Zpacks Vertice Rain Jacket 176 grams (Mens Medium) US$299 http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/wpb_jacket.shtml  The white raincoat I have is one of Joe’s. I accidentally ordered it in the wrong lengths (sleeves and coat) so that it doesn’t quite suit me, though it keeps me quite dry enough (and weighs under 150 grams in Men’s Large). This (white) material is his old material which is clearly lighter than his new one. I personally don’t like the ‘sticky’ feel of it, though there is nothing wrong with it. I dislike running my fingernails over felt too, but I can’t explain why. We both have rain pants in his new fabric and they feel fine and work excellently.  You may want something cheaper though…

Montane Minimus 230 grams (Mens) grams: https://www.montane.co.uk/mens-c1/minimus-jacket-p57  Della has a Montane jacket in Event which she just loves. This one would be a lightweight replacement for it. They used to make a jacket known as the H2O which would have been even lighter (around 150 grams) but it is no longer available. I am seeing this jacket from around A$170 which is pretty good value for a well-made product.

Montbell Versalite Jacket. I really like this one in Green, my favourite colour! We have lots of Montbell products which are lightweight and very functional, so this one has to be a likely candidate for me. It is good value for money from a well-known brand: https://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?cat_id=25013&p_id=2328167&gen_cd=2 189 grams (Mens M)  A$189

Arcteryx Norvan: This Arcteryx jacket has to be worthy of consideration. This lady has given it an impressive review here. https://www.switchbacktravel.com/reviews/arcteryx-norvan-sl-hoody  $299 (215 grams in Mens large - 100grams (XS Womens?) US$299

Lukes Micro 10 Jacket 4.1 oz (Large) US$179: https://lukesultralite.com/products/raingear I really like the sound of this jacket. I just received a pair of Luke’s shorts. They actually weighed less tha his listed weight (25/28 grams). The legs are quite long too, so I will probably hem them up a bit shorter so that they come in at about 22 grams which would be hard to beat for an item of clothing to wear when mixed bathing or doing the laundry on the trail. Luke’s jacket seems to be the lightest and relatively the cheapest. I am tempted to order one and see how it goes. A sub 120 gram jacket in my size (Men’s Large) is pretty awesome.

Two others I should mention:

DriDucks: These are both ultralight and ultra-cheap (as well as being probably the most breathable available. if you are very careful with them, they will keep you quite dry. They also feel beautiful. The jacket alone is (from memory under 150 grams. The jacket plus pants costs around US$25! https://www.froggtoggsraingear.com/DriDucks.shtm

DIY Tyvek: As usual, you can make your own out of Tyvek. We are talking 150 grams and around US$10 here: Here is the link to do so: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultra-cheap-ultralight-rain-gear/

Good Luck and Happy Shopping!

PS: Looking at the pics above I am reminded of Henry Ford's comment: You can have any colour you like as long as it's black!'

See Also:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-ultralight-deer-hunter/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/raincoat-shelter/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-in-the-rain/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/rain-skirt/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-importance-of-a-roof/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/how-to-avoid-being-wet-cold-while-camping/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/how-to-light-a-fire-in-the-wet/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/vapor-barrier/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/tyvek-jack-russell-rain-coat-13-grams/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-shorts-28-grams/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/tyvek-jack-russell-rain-coat-13-grams/

03/11/2017: The Family Reunion Programme: 23 reasons why we should scrap it: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5040235/Trump-reveals-NY-terror-suspect-brought-23-people.html

03/11/2017: Ayer’s Rock: This will go down well. Be interesting to see how well they get on without the tourists. Oh well, there are always even more Govt handouts and more victimhood and identity to claim: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2017/11/01/tourists-to-be-banned-from-climbing-uluru.html

03/11/2017: ‘Attempting to transform children into transsexuals is an appalling form of child abuse and should be regarded as such by the law’; Dr. Cretella is President of the American College of Pediatricians: http://moonbattery.com/?p=89209

03/11/2017: World’s most employable human parrot: Colourful, but unaffordable: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3859680/Human-parrot-57-admits-spends-pension-money-tattoos-surgery-look-like-favourite-bird-having-EARS-chopped-off.html

02/11/2017: Why tax fraud is a moral imperative: Sometimes you have to ask yourself what is the alternative, before you realise what the morally correct decision is. At present the great bulk of our wealth as a nation is being stolen from us by people being able to vote to do so, and is then transferred over eg to what ‘Pygmalion’ calls ‘the deserving poor’ who squander it outrageously on ‘bad’ things - so occasioning the need for even further ‘welfare’ spending, whilst the ‘undeserving poor’ (ie those condemned to work for a meagre living) ‘deserve’ and are ‘given’ nothing. . Of course it would be much better for the ‘deserving poor’ (and everyone else) if such folk were gainfully employed in physical labour – but that is not to be! Such a requirement would be ‘unjust’ and ‘unfair’. Therefore, it is everyone else’s duty to ‘steal’ back from the Government every cent of the illicitly gained taxes one can in order eg to pass them on to one’s children whose money it was, or ought to be. Mind you I have never understood why anyone pays any tax. Misplaced altruism perhaps? The rich long since worked out how not to. It only requires a little work and study to cheat the tax man out of every last cent! It is also a much more interesting game than any of the silly computer games the young seem obsessed with! An aside: Robin Hood did not 'Steal from the rich and give to the poor'. He stole the people's money back from the government and returned it to them!

02/11/2017: Despatches from The Fifth Column: ‘French police and intelligence services are surveilling around 15,000 jihadists living on French soil, Le Journal du Dimanche reported on October 9. Of these, some 4,000 are at "the top of the spectrum" and most likely to carry out an attack. Of the 1,900 French jihadists fighting with the Islamic State, as many as one-fifth have received as much as €500,000 ($580,000) in social welfare payments from the French state’, Figaro October 26, 2017 Meanwhile in Kabul a 13 year old suicide bomber: http://www.1tvnews.af/en/news/afghanistan/31895 and in New York: http://abcnews.go.com/US/york-city-officers-responding-reports-shots-fired-lower/story?id=50842052

02/11/2017: Blurring ‘Reality’: All these images have been generated by AI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOxxPcy5Gr4

01/11/2017: Confucian Academia: I have long railed against the ridiculous waste of providing everyone with a (pretend) university education, when most (not to mention society) would be much better served with a technical education. Nothing underlines this more than the fact that these academics are churning out vast tracts of garbage which no-one at all reads! ‘82 percent of articles published in the humanities are not even cited once - Of those articles that are cited, only 20 percent have actually been read.’ meaning that less than 3% have ever been read by anyone. Presumably even the person assessing them for a 'Higher' Degree! Compare that to my blog for example (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/) where often 1,000+ people have read a post within an hour of my posting it! Is it any wonder I gave up academia over 40 years ago! Yes, there are lots of savings governments could make. Slashing the so-called ‘education’ budget (which is just disguised welfare/unemployment ‘benefits’) is a case in point. Young folk would be ‘improved’ much more by being required to be outdoors doing some meaningful physical work – creating hiking paths or eradicating weeds on public lands, for example. http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/why-professors-are-writing-crap-nobody-reads 

 

01/11/2017: The environmental costs of electric cars: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/10/britain-can-have-electric-cars-or-turn-scotland-into-a-wind-farm-which-will-it-be-then/ See also: Who would have thought someone as ‘mainstream’ as Alan Kohler would advocate banning the internal combustion engine in Australia? Lunacy: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/09/alan-kohler-dreams-of-banning-combustion-engines-in-cars-in-australia/ This green lunacy has to stop before all the gains of the industrial revolution are discarded.

01/11/2017: Great quotes: T.B. Macaulay (1800-59): ‘We cannot absolutely prove that those are in error who tell us that society has reached a turning point, that we have seen our best days. But so said all before us, and with just as much apparent reason ... On what principle is it that, when we see nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us.’

31/10/2017: First Confirmed Interstellar Visitor: https://newatlas.com/object-beyond-solar-system/51936/

31/10/2017: I know it is slow going, but you need to know why the AGW ‘theory’ is fallacious – and hence everything which is done in its name is unnecessary, or worse. For example, Kininmonth challenges the term “heat trapping gases” because: “There is sufficient CO2 in the atmosphere such that across the CO2 wavebands all the IR emission from the surface is completely absorbed within the first few tens of metres of the boundary layer; the CO2 cannot ‘trap’ any more of the surface IR emission.” Please, read on:  https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/10/29/weekly-climate-and-energy-news-roundup-289/

31/10/2017: An Interesting observation. It certainly happened in teaching; now it is the Boy Scouts’ turn: As Martin van Creveld, the Israeli military historian noted, ‘the more women enter any professional field, the more men leave it. And as the men depart, so to do the prestige and the economic rewards provided by the field. This creates a vicious cycle that both expels existing men from the field while repelling new men from entering it.’ The upsides and downsides of feminism: http://voxday.blogspot.com.au/2017/10/the-boy-scouts-converged.html Mind you, with around 25% of working age men actually unemployed now (and for the last c.20 years - and more and more women working hard to support them) , you have to ask yourself where the costs of feminism have fallen, and who if anyone benefits.

31/10/2017: Why are people poor? I think there are a lot of people who would benefit from this advice (if they were willing to take it!). Every day I see folks around me making the most spectacularly bad financial decisions (only later to lament them as a form of victimhood - eg ‘Why/Poor me?’). The decision to not be poor can be as simple as deciding to grow/cook your own food (instead of take-aways/restaurants) or realising you don’t need a new shirt/pair of shoes; you don’t need to buy a new car, when yours has only done (eg) 150K, ie it is newer than any car I have bought in the last 30 years! You don’t need that large house; you don’t need someone else to build it; you don’t need that expensive overseas holiday when you have not even seen 1% of Victoria’s Alps or rivers. And etc, etc: http://pjmedia.com/drhelen/2014/09/29/how-not-to-be-poor/?repeat=w3tc

30/10/2017: 100th Anniversary of Beersheba Today: If you have not read Ion Idriess’ ‘The Desert Column’ (you should. You can download it for free: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ion-idriess-the-desert-column/) read this article. Did you know for example that it was the Australians (and not the British) who took the Turkish surrender in WW1? http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2017/10/100th-anniversary-of-the-great-cavalry-charge-australias-4th-light-horse-brigade-in-the-taking-of-be.html An interesting review here: https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2011/09/ion-idriess-and-the-desert-column/

30/10/2017: The Ultralight Deer Hunter: You will definitely see more deer if you spend longer deep in the bush where they live, and especially if you can spend the night out with them. I prefer to 'get away from it all' and camp out far from anyone else rather than hunting the fringes of private land where I admit there are lots of deer.

Here are some suggestions for an ultralight deer hunter’s ‘Gear List’. In any case it is worthwhile reducing your overall hunting pack weight as it will mean you can walk further (and more quietly). The further you walk, and the harder you look, listen and smell, the more deer you will encounter. See Also: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hammock-hunting-till-dark/

Pack: First of all, as I suggested here (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/best-hunting-daypack/ & http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hunting-daypack/), you need to reduce your pack weight. The ‘MLD Burn’ is an excellent choice for a rugged hunting overnight or day pack at 370 grams. You might also consider Zpacks’ 38 litre Nero at 309 grams: http://www.zpacks.com/backpacks/nero.shtml though the fabric is a little lighter. It may nonetheless be just as strong - or even stronger. It is adjustable.

 

What would I put in it for an overnight stop?

Tent: Of course I would have my ‘Pocket Poncho Tent’ (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-pocket-poncho-tent/) at 185 grams – and you may be lucky to have one too if I can manage to organize manufacturing them in Asia somewhere (soon?) Otherwise you should look around for something around 250 grams such as Gossamer Gear’s Twinn Tarp: https://www.gossamergear.com/collections/tents/products/twinn-tarp NB: As an alternative, I have also recommended a hammock/tarp/pad combo here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hammock-hunting-till-dark/

If you prefer a tent, you could either make your own as I do, perhaps starting with this: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/poly-tent-by-the-ultralight-hiker-on-the-cheap/ for approx $10 (try a search for 'Tent' above) eg the Forester Tent (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/new-tyvek-forestertent-design/), or there are quite a few 500 gram (ish) tents now available, such as this one: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/500-gram-tents/, or Six Moon Designs eg  https://www.sixmoondesigns.com/collections/tarps/products/gatewood-capen at 340 grams, or Mountain Laurel Designs eg:

https://mountainlaureldesigns.com/product/trailstar/ from 340 grams, or Zpacks eg http://www.zpacks.com/shelter/solplex.shtml 439 grams (this one includes floor/bug net), etc.

Pegs/Guys: Of course you will need some pegs (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/tent-stakes-and-tricks/ )and guys (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-perfect-guy-line-for-a-hiking-tenttarp/), say about 70-80 grams worth..

Groundsheet: I might use a space blanket as a ground sheet if I thought I needed one; I usually carry one anyway for safety/first aid (50 grams) – but I will soon have my Bathtub Groundsheet Chair (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/bathtub-groundsheet-chair/) when I get around to making it - at approx 85 grams (I estimate). A little comfort never went astray! There are lots of ultralight options including polycryo: https://www.gossamergear.com/products/polycryo-tent-footprint-ground-cloths which would work out at 23 grams. If you yearn for something a little tougher, I guess you could opt for a piece of sinylon, eg http://www.tiergear.com.au/11/products/xenon-sil-11 which will still likely be under 50 grams depending on size (eg 2' X 7'). You can drape the edges over some fallen timber to create a bathtub floor effect if it is raining heavily and you anticipate flooding.

Mat: You could use a 4’ Thermarest Neoair X-Lite (ie Small https://www.thermarest.com/mattresses/neoair-xlite-2 ) as a mat, and put your feet on your pack for a bit of insulation – 230 grams. For more comfort I usually opt for the ‘Womens’ size at 340 grams and 5'6" http://www.theultralighthiker.com/womens-are-great-in-bed/.

If/when it becomes available I would try the Big Agnes AXL Air: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/big-agnes-axl-air-pad/ (300 grams for the 6’ long by 3” thick model which I would shorten by about 6” – 270 grams - as I am somewhat vertically challenged! Anyway I usually sleep on my side curled up a bit so I can fit comfortably on a 5' mat).

Sleeping Bag: My favourite sleeping bag is the Montbell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 now at 624 grams http://www.theultralighthiker.com/montbell/ though my own older model is lighter (<600). I would also carry some other Montbell clothes (See ‘Clothes’ below) for warmth such as the ‘Superior Down’ coat (200 grams) and vest (150 grams). If it is a particularly cold night I put the coat on my upper body and the vest on my lower. This reduces the temperature of the down bag from -1c to approx -10C.

Zpacks makes an even lighter model (which Della has). Her 5'9" bag warm to -7C weighs 499 grams inc compression sack: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/new-zpacks-sleeping-bag/

Pillow: You should try this: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/exped-ultralight-pillow/ at 45 grams or this: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/diy-super-ultralight-pillow/ . Say 10 grams.

Of course Bonnie Prince Charlie (somewhat effeminately) used just a stone as a pillow when he was camping out in the snow in a Scottish winter in just his kilt and cloak. Those Scots are/were tough!

Dry Socks & Shoes: If you suffer from cold feet, you might consider a pair of Goosefeet Gear down sox  https://goosefeetgear.com/products/down-socks/ – 50 grams (and of course I carry my home-made Dyneema slippers for a dry change of shoes: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/19-gram-dyneema-camp-shoes/ - 24 grams.

Another option is a pair of Sealskin Socks https://www.sealskinz.com/walking-thin-ankle-socks-dark-grey-black.htm (mine weigh approx 80 grams but they may not be the lightest model) which enable you to wear wet shoes - or just carry dry socks and maybe some Crocs.

Cookset: I outlined my minimum cookset here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-windscreen/ 60 grams. A slightly larger model here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/cookset-woes/ Of course you will need a 9 gram (12 long) spoon to go with that: http://www.seatosummit.com.au/products/kitchen/alpha-light/ and maybe some Esbits - or you could be carrying your egg-ring stove (as I do) and just burn some twigs: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-egg-ring-ultralight-wood-burner-stove/

Rainwear: Try to keep the weight of this down. If you weigh your raincoat don’t be surprised if it is over 500 grams. Choice here is a bit more difficult for hunting where significant abrasion might be a factor. (Much moreso if you are a hound hunter rather than a stalker). Raincoats range down to around 150 grams or less, (Luke's Ultralight/Zpacks) - again see Montbell’s range.

If you are careful with a lightweight coat it will serve you well. If you are trying to be very quiet it is unlikely you will tear your raincoat; besides it isn't always raining.

Soon (I hope) you will be able to take advantage of my Pocket Poncho tent which will keep you dry both during the day and at night (with a minimum weight of about 185 grams.

Raincoat: Lightest and best value for money are probably Montbell’s offerings, eg the Versalite https://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?cat_id=25013&p_id=2328276&gen_cd=1 at 189 grams.

The cheapest fully breathable waterproof jacket (not very durable – but very light) is the DriDucks by Frogg Toggs. I personally like an ‘Event’ Raincoat; I have two which have kept me very dry in trying conditions. I also like Zpack’s new raincoat.

Hat: If you really want to have a warm head of a night, I have one of Ray Jardine’s ‘Bomber’ hats my wife Della made for me years ago at 30 grams. I doubt she will make one for you. A number of people offer down balaclavas, eg: http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/goosehood.shtml at 37 grams or https://goosefeetgear.com/products/down-balaclava/.

I also use a ‘Buff’ http://www.theultralighthiker.com/are-you-beautiful-in-the-buff/ to keep my neck and particularly my nose warm (37.5 grams) This is the very acme of luxury! During the day I have my Icebreaker wool cap (now alas, deleted): http://www.theultralighthiker.com/best-deer-hunters-cap-best-ultralight-cap/ fortunately I have a number of them!

Gloves: If it is really freezing, I have the MLD Rain Mittens http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-mitts-and-gaiters/ 42 grams. (I also have their ultralight gaiters – I find they work wonderfully to keep rubbish out of your shoes). The mittens work really well on very cold wet days when otherwise your hands would freeze – of course they do interfere just a bit with your trigger finger!

Under the mitts I can wear a pair of ultralight polypropylene or wool gloves, such as Icebreaker’s Oasis Glove Liners http://au.icebreaker.com/en/accessories/oasis-glove-liners/IBM207.html?dwvar_IBM207_color=001 at 24 grams.

Dry Clothes: Dry clothes (and a raincoat) are options if it is likely to rain. (Otherwise you might just carry a disposable poncho and risk having to dry your clothes out with your body heat). Keep these as light as possible. Again Montbell are hard to beat with their windpants 53/75 grams and windshirts 55 grams https://www.montbell.us/products/list.php?cat_id=25048&gen_cd=1, or you could just take some Icebreaker of Kathmandu wool thermals as your dry change – and for extra night insulation.

Clothes: Start from the skin out. Weigh your clothes. Most of those proprietary ‘hunting’ clothes and shoes are heavy as lead, particularly when wet. I always wear wool socks. The lightweight Holeproof Heroes (now rebadged as Bonds) in summer, and Explorers in winter have been long-term stand-bys for me, durable and cheap.

Wigwam are, arguably better but much more expensive. I have not tried them yet, but these folk guarantee their (hunting) socks for lifehttps://darntough.com Unbelievable! http://www.theultralighthiker.com/warranties-on-outdoor-gear/

Then I would wear lightweight trousers such as the Columbia Silver Ridge. (I have yet to find anything as light and as durable for their weight). To counter the smelliness which can develop in nylon clothing I recommend wearing Icebreaker wool knickers such as these underneath: http://au.icebreaker.com/en/mens-layering-underwear/anatomica-briefs/103031.html?dwvar_103031_color=401

Since you will normally be hunting in the winter months wear a long sleeve wool shirt such as the Tomar from Kathmandu or the Departure 2 from Icebreaker. They are tough enough to withstand a bit of bush-bashing. In the summer months I wear a knitted wool top such as this: http://www.kathmandu.com.au/mens/clothing/tops/ometo-men-s-polo-shirt-v2.html but they are not so durable.

Anyway always wool if you don't want to stink - and remember if you stink the deer will smell you too! . For layering, I also recommend wool: an Icebreaker/Kathmandu tee, long top and/or longjohns. I also wear an Icebreaker wool cap: which unfortunately for you are no longer available.

NB: These folk now have wool camo hunting clothes: https://www.firstlite.com/products.html just as Icebreaker used to have: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/camo-merino-wool-for-deer-hunting/

For insulated layers in really cold weather and of a night, I choose Montbell again. Their Thermawrap series are one of the lightest synthetic insulated garments. You might chose a vest in this material for an extra layer if needed in the daytime (when it might get wet) and a Montbell down coat of a night. I own their Superior Down coat (and vest, as well as the Thermawrap vest). I see they now have a 1000 fill power down (Plasma) jacket – but it is much more expensive.

Larry Adler is the Australian supplier: https://www.montbelloutdoor.com.au/  There are some items which they do not stock, but they might get them in...Ask them. If it is still unavailable it is possible to order it from the US (using shipito) but you also need a virtual credit card (also from shipito). Messy, but possible.

Shoes: I suggest some ultralight shoes such as the Topos I reviewed here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/topo-terraventure-shoes/  or some Keens: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/keen-shoes/ If you have wide feet like me. There are other lightweight options such as Inov-8s if you have narrower feet.

Guns and Knives: I have posted about the lightest effective knife I have found (at 16 grams ea) here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultimate-blades-for-the-ultralight-hunter/

Another heavier choice which might interest you (if you don't fancy sharpening your knife) is here:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/never-have-to-sharpen-your-knife-again/

If you do like to sharpen it, you might still want an ultralight sharpener: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-knife-sharpener/

You probably know I use a lever action .308 in take-down (so I can put it in my canoe bag or pack): http://www.theultralighthiker.com/308s/. You probably also know that the short action round makes for a lighter gun than the long action. I realise a lever action (and a take-down) both outweigh a standard bolt action, but I have my reasons.

Also, sambar are not really 'big game' animal. A .308 is quite adequate to stop them. If you want something 'bigger' try the WSM. Obviously iron sights (which I chose for ethical reasons) are much lighter too than telescopic sights.

There are people who specialise in 'sporterising' rifles to make them lighter (as everyone, including me), used to do with their old .303s! You could probably get your deer rifle down to perhaps 2.5kg, so still it is clearly the single heaviest thing you are carrying.

Electronics:

Torch: I use a AAA torch. I confess I am outrageous and often carry two of them (one for use as a lantern and one as a headlamp), but they only weigh at most 14-16 grams each (inc some string a micro cord lock and a couple of O-rings to turn them into a head torch): http://www.theultralighthiker.com/lighter-brighter-better/http://www.theultralighthiker.com/11-gram-rechargeable-head-torch/ Clearly you also need a few spare batteries at 10 grams each.

Phone: I take my Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini phone with me (at 120 grams inc battery) as (in Flight Mode) I can get nearly a week's use out of it just every now and then using the mapping App, or reading a book, listening to music, etc. It also makes a good back-up camera.

Camera: The camera I am using at the moment is this one: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/new-camera/ http://www.theultralighthiker.com/camera-glassing/ at 160 grams inc battery/card (and it has taken some good shots - I'm sure you'll agree!), but I know there are now models with better optics (eg 30-40 X zoom) and programming which are not a lot heavier, and which will secure some better long-distance/poor light etc shots. The Sony XXX is a case in point.

PLB: I think you should carry some safety equipment (apart from your First Aid kit). If you are on a budget the Spot Messenger http://www.theultralighthiker.com/get-lost-get-found-plbepirb/ at 114 grams is the way to go. If you are a bit better heeled then you might go for an Inreach http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-poor-mans-satellite-phone/ at 191 grams or even an Iridium Extreme Sat Phone at 247 grams: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-not-so-poor-mans-sat-phone/

Saw: You will need something perhaps to get those antlers off (or you may choose to carry out the whole head and cape out if you are very strong). You can make an ultralight bow saw (eg using a 15" bone saw blade) as discussed here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-saws/ The lightest thing I know for this purpose is a length of embryo wire (available from veterinarians).

First Aid: You certainly should carry a small kit. It is a matter of personal taste what you carry really. I carried an elastic bandage and a sling (for example) for over twenty years and never needed them - but when I did (della dislocated her shoulder) I needed them in the worst way! I carry a number of drugs: Panadeine Forte, some anti-inflammatories, anti-nausea, Imodium, antihistamine, band-aids, bandages, blister pads... I would allow at least 100 grams for this vital component.  

Essentials Tally (Gun and Ammo + worn clothing plus):

Pack:370 grams

Tent: 340 grams

Pegs/Guys: 80 grams

Groundsheet: 50 grams

Mat: 340 grams

Pillow: 45 grams

Sealskin Socks: 80 grams

Cookset: 69 grams

Dry top/bottom: 108 grams

Insulated vest & coat: 156 + 208

Knife: 32 grams

Saw: 20 grams

Phone: 120 grams

PLB: 114 grams

Torch and batteries: 56 grams

First Aid, say 100 grams

Cumulative Total:2218 grams

Add Food: approx 500 grams/ day.

I'm sure you can see that my total is probably less than the weight of your day pack (empty).

PS: I have usually gone for a higher number here than I actually carry (eg so that it is something you can currently buy), so that for example my tent weighs 185 grams, my current pack 230 grams...so, I could probably shave 300+ grams off this total, say to a max of 1.9kg!

Spot and I stop for lunch by the river. That small pack has everything I need for over a week's hunting - including Spot's bed and rations, and he is a bigger eater than I am! And you can see I had brought my machete along in case I needed to do some clearing, and my hiking poles in case my knees or back gave trouble - which fortunately they did not.

If you would like to get an encyclopedic idea of my multi-day hiking list, you might find this interesting: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-gorilla-in-the-hand/

See Also:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/sambar-stalking-101/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-lure-of-the-moose/

29/10/2017: The Fast Hiker: I know I certainly don't look it (and I confess I am not), but the site had been dreadfully slow. Didn't bother me - I am in no hurry to meet my maker. But I know many of you have better things to do than waiting for pages to load...so i am working on speeding things up.

As I work on it some speed problems are intermitently getting worse, but I/we are tackling the issue, and it will get enormously better!

So far the Home Page has shrunk from over 16 megabytes to 1.3 (mainly by removing photos. I compressed all 14,500 photographs (by 69%!) with Short Pixel Optimiser. This saves people a lot of data! I updated PHP to version 7.1 which sped things up by about 50%. I have updated teh Cron job -whatever that is! I also installed WP Super Cache which stores pages which have already been accessed and so speeds up loading them.

The speed to load a page should already have come down from something like 10 seconds (Sorry!) to something like 2 seconds. I hope I can get it under 1 second without any loss of functionality/quality, etc. Of course I am no computer expert. i am a retired farmer (who still has a lot of thistles to spray and other odd jobs) and who would like to be off hiking/canoeing, etc.

These were the easy fixes. Getting down from around 2 seconds to under 1 second will involve a whole lot of quite cunning computer programming wrinkles where I will no doubt need some professional help, but I will keep hammering away at it over the next few weeks until i achieve that goal. The list is incredibly long and complicated! Thanks for being patient!

28/10/2017: The Lure of the Moose:

Oh, the enchantments of Fiordland: Again and again I have returned to this lush green Eden searching for one of these surviving giants of the Pleistocene, which though deported from their ancient homeland in the vast Boreal forests of the North, yet linger there today. For me it is a tale which began when I picked up a copy of Australian Deer back in the 1990s on whose cover this wonderful grainy image gazed out at me:

Instantly I wanted to put myself in that picture. My daughter Merrin even Photoshopped me into it as a birthday present! The article which accompanied it introduced me to this man, Eddie Herrick whose quest for this gentle giant in the vastness of Fiordland with his guide Jim Muir consumed so much of his life. Every year for thirty years he spent three months there, searching for them: ten whole years of their lives! Even more of Muir's. On three occasions he was rewarded with such an experience as the photo above shows: two bulls and a three-legged cow!

The one above was the bull moose he took in 1934 in what is now eponymously Herrick Creek in Wet Jacket Arm, Dusky Sound. I guess it is about the top of the small lake in the lower section of the creek. You can see he was about the age (50-ish) I was when I began my search, so I had no feeling that what I was to undertake was impossible. Though I have found that it is very nearly so, and anyway supremely difficult, every year a powerful magnetism draws me thither.

Jim Macintosh's cow moose 1950s:

Shortly after I read the article I acquired Ken Tustin’s wonderful book and video ‘A Wild Moose Chase’, Max Curtis’ ‘Beyond the River’s Bend’ and Ray Tinsley’s ‘Call of the Moose,’ each being about NZ’s famous or fantastic moose herd - and all of which I devoured eagerly. I was hooked.

At the same time I read several other books about moose in general. I was soon becoming an armchair expert on these giant creatures. Of course I wanted to journey to New Zealand to have a look myself. I never imagined I would have enough money to see them in Canada where you have to push them off the back porch - anyway I prefer a challenge!

My fiftieth birthday came and went. My wife, Della purchased me the first brand new deer caliber rifle I had ever owned, a Browning Lever Action (BLR) in .308 calibre. What a wife! She also encouraged me to make the trip as soon as I could before I was too old to do so. Hang the expense! I planned to go in the New Year 2000; it ended up getting pushed out to nearly the end of February. Still an excellent time to be in Fiordland. Two sambar hunting mates, Brett and Michael got wind that I was going (originally by myself) and decided they needed to chaperone me!

Lots of planning, particularly of gear ensued. You would think we were C18th century explorers heading off for darkest Africa! All the same I was only going away from home for eight days. I really don't know how Della was able to manage to look after the farm/s as well as go to work then - we had hundreds of acres and well over a thousand sheep scattered over half a dozen different properties - but she did. I think we planned on having five days 'moose hunting' at Supper Cove.

Cow moose snapped by Max Curtis, Herrick Creek, Wet Jacket Arm, Dusky Sound 1950s

We landed in Christchurch then drove down to Te Anau. Michael at least had never been to NZ before and Brett had not seen Fiordland. This was a sentimental journey for me as Della and I had lived in Christchurch in 1975 and had toured all over the South Island together on a 250cc Honda motorcycle. I had never been anywhere without her before, so I confess I was missing her as we traveled down the island. Everything i saw I wanted her to see too. She would have to wait another thirteen years for her turn! She is a patient person.

We had organised to fly in with the 'Wings on Water' float plane to Supper Cove and so begin our search from there. This was the first time Michael or I had ever been in a small plane. As I have a problem with heights (even to changing lightbulbs!) I felt that I would have to close my eyes, grit my teeth and endure, but as it turned out I loved it, and would pay to do it again and again!

The high flight over Lakes Te Anau and then Manapouroi, glimpses into icy sunless valleys to the north, a panorama of Doubtful Sound, then the plunge through Centre Pass and a slow descent down the mighty Seaforth valley over towering Tripod Hill and the perched Lochs (Gair & Maree), past the southern home of the moose (the Henry Burn) and on to the glittering expanse of the vast Dusky fiord is a journey worth a million dollars (but only costs NZ$330 - 2017!)

Percy Lyes NZ bull moose 1950s

We had all been hunting sambar deer in (what we thought of as) rough country in Gippsland for years, so reckoned we could tour the Fiordland forests in much the same way. For example, It is just a handful of kilometres ('as the bird flies') from Supper Cove over the range to the mouth of Herrick Creek. We foresaw that as a day hunt. In fact it is an arduous trip of at least four days return which I am yet to complete. Being just shy of 70 now, I am doubtful I ever will, but next autumn I know I will feel differently once more!

Supper Cove is at the head of Dusky Sound, the largest fiord in NZ. It was discovered and named by the same Captain Cook as the East Coast of Australia. The first European structures in NZ were built there - even the first house, surprisingly by the shipwrecked crew of another ship also (like Cook's) called the 'Endeavour'.

The Supper Cove hut is adjacent to a lovely little beach where the Hilda Burn flows into the top of the fiord just South of Supper Cove itself - which is formed by the mighty Seaforth River flowing into the head of the fiord, creating a shallow semicircular cove perfect for flatfish. You can walk across this cove at low tide from the northern end of this little beach just past the helipad, but there is a deep gut formed by the Hilda Burn flowing in, so if you want a drier crossing you are better to walk up the track past the Hilda Burn before you cross.

Brett walking across Supper Cove on a low-ish tide:

If you wish to look for moose (or red deer eg during the Roar) along the Seaforth the three huts (Supper Cove, Loch Maree and Kintail) are good bases from which you can make daily forays up the many 'Burns' and onto the slips searching for these elusive monsters which (especially in the warmest days of summer) I believe often lie cooling themselves in the deeper pools. At other times they are likely to be too widely dispersed for you to ever encounter one, but they do particularly like the fuchsia regrowth on slips. If you are there at the end of February as we were on this occasion, you might even hear a bull moose call (as we did on the last day of February 2000), or perhaps even a cow answer him.

Initially at least Michael decided he would make the Henry Burn his own, whilst Brett and I focused our attentions on the Hilda and 'Waterfall' Burns. We arrived around lunchtime and reckoned impetuously we had enough time to check out the Hilda Burn quite thoroughly that afternoon. Of course we had not gone more than 300 metres before we realised that our times/distances would be very different than we had imagined.

If you try to follow the Hilda Burn upwards you realise quite soon that your way is blocked by a vast angry cataract that it is impossible to pass or climb. You have to go up one side or the other. The first afternoon we ascended on the true right bank (looking downstream - that is the convention). About 200 yards above the existing hut there is the ruins of an earlier hut. The first thing I knew about it was that I had tripped over a barbed wire 'fence' hiding in the undergrowth badly tearing my shin- something which you most certainly are not expecting in the enormous wilderness of Fiordland. No-one I have encountered seems to know anything at all about this ruin, but there is some wire, netting and sheets of iron there which might come in handy sometime if you know they exist.

The cataract in the Hilda Burn

Here are the remains of the old hut.

Even only traveling this far up the ridge you need to be alert to keeping the position in mind of the roar of the water falling in the Burn, as when you turn to descend you will swiftly realise that the country fissures and falls away in all directions with very steep, narrow guts which it is well-nigh impossible to traverse laterally, something which the deliberate focusing on ascent is likely to lead you to ignore. It is incredibly easy to become 'bluffed out' in Fiordland - meaning that you may relatively easily ascend but when descending not be able to find or see a way down at all. You have to pay incredibly close attention to the route you took on the way up.

We climbed above the second hut, hauling ourselves over rocks and tree roots through vastly wet, dense terrain until the roar of the water diminished so we judged we could safely descend into the upper Hilda Burn. As we angled down into it at one point we had to climb a monstrous fallen log about the height of my nose (say about 5'), so that I could not actually see the top of it. When I had clambered my way up onto it, I was astonished to find right on top of it fresh moose droppings! Boy, they are big beasts! It was completely obvious what they were, as everywhere in the forest there were red deer droppings - pretty much indistinguishable from sambar droppings (being similarly sized deer ie approximately jelly bean sized).

The enormous moose droppings centre and normal sized red deer droppings right and below them (above the leaf).

These moose droppings were nearly as large as my thumb in comparison. Brett picked up some red deer droppings and handed them to me so that I could photograph the two so they could be compared. Back then practically no-one believed that moose had survived in Fiordland into the C21st. Most believed they had died out soon after Percy Lyes had shot his bull moose back in the early 1950's. But here we were only an hour or so into the Fiordland forest and we had in our hands (so to speak) proof that a moose had passed this way within the last day or two (the incessant rain makes smart work of any 'sign' in Fiordland).

Above is a photo of those fewmets. My apologies for the quality of the photos in this post. In 2000 I had the latest 'Advantix' film camera, but technology sure marches on. I thought the snaps I took back then were just brilliant, but I am embarrassed by their poor quality now, as I am also becoming embarrassed by the present quality of my digital camera compared with the results from Della's Samsung Galaxy 7's. Mind you the forests are so dark, it is very difficult indeed to get good photos. Maybe if you are an expert (and can afford to lug along a few kilos of photography kit), as I am neither...

We beat our way down towards the river following the tracks I guess of a large red deer. He arrived at the river just above a wide clearing on the true right bank caused by one of the innumerable slips which beset that country and which create most of the new feeding opportunities for the moose herd. Unusually (most are covered with fuchsia regrowth) this slip had been kept quite grassy by the innumerable red deer, of which there was lots of sign. But also, cutting right across the bottom of the clearing were the huge tracks of a moose. With feet as large as a cow's or horse's he had sunk almost a foot deep as he crossed. The smaller red deer tracks in comparison had made much less of an impression, and were everywhere to be seen and compared There was no comparison. Clearly these tracks were from a vastly larger animal, which in that situation could be nothing but a moose.

The clearing on the true left side of the Hilda Burn.

Eddie Herrick shot an ancient three-legged cow moose (I think) in the Hilda Burn in the 1930s. She was likely the one who clearly broke its leg when they were tipped out off the boat in Supper Cove. You can see that one has a broken leg in the photo of the herd standing in Supper Cove looking mournful - poor things had been raised on lucerne and such! Amazingly, though she must have lost the leg (to gangrene?), she had survived in that most moose inhospitable terrain for nigh on thirty years. Knowing that they were that tough I had many doubts that they had somehow mysteriously died out sometime after 1950. Here was one who had walked across this clearing in the last day or two, clearly making this valley and its surrounds its home!

Brett in the Hilda Burn.

Also on this clearing there was a small tree or sapling (I suppose 3" in diameter) which had clearly been pushed over and stripped by something, the bark on the top also having been chewed away. I remember wondering why the tree had 'fallen' at such a strange angle, as if an immense wind had pushed it over, so that its top was no more than a metre above the ground. I guess it was nearly twenty years before I was informed by (Ken Tustin) that this behaviour of  walking trees down is a favourite moose feeding strategy. On this trip I saw it again and again - and I have seen it many more times since. It is unmistakable moose 'sign'.

By the time we had descended to the stream it was becoming sufficiently dark that we needed to turn right round and head back unless we wanted to spend our first night in Fiordland sitting around in our raincoats in cold, wet bush. For advice about that, see: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/raincoat-shelter/ You should definitely avoid that situation. My advice is to carry a hammock and tarp so you can spend a dry night in the bush.

Looking down from the Hilda Burn.

I guess it was the next day we decided, (it having been too difficult scrambling up the true right bank) that we would find a way up the true left bank. Let me tell you, it was no better, if not worse. There is some very steep going, a huge tangle of fallen trees, at least one waterfall to traverse - just to get above the cataract. And you had better remember just how you got there, as when you are coming back down you will find that the way up was the only way! Just that happened to us. It was only that when we became 'bluffed' we sat down for a smoke or a bite to eat, to 'study' on our dilemma, and when we sat down that we realised that the last little bit we had had to crawl up - a reality which became apparent when we got low enough to see where we had come. A cup of tea or a smoke (or sleep on it) are always good strategies if in doubt.

We saw a few red deer on the slip as we passed. They weren't particularly alerted to our passage. The heavy cover of moss everywhere in Fiordland and the sodden nature of everything sucks up a lot of sound. Mostly all you can ever hear is water moving, falling, sloshing, dripping...There is very little birdsong (well, there are very few birds) but even so their song does not carry as it does in Victoria. Often you can see that they are singing even quite close up, say less than 20 yards, yet are unable to hear them.

On this or another occasion Brett was walking up the true right bank as I walked up the true left. At one point I wanted to attract his attention, so I whistled. No response. Then I blew a blast on my ultra loud Fox 40 whistle which the manufacturers reckon you can hear up to a mile away! No response. He was perhaps 40 metres away. The sound was just soaked up by the forest. And he is not deaf like I am. You can see how, the folks who have shot a moose in Fiordland pretty much universally just stumbled on it (usually very close to a creek) when it stood up, they went, 'Crack!' and down it went. End of hunting story.

Walking high up in the Hilda Burn:

There is a section of morass to cross (on the true left bank). It is quite difficult going, and remains so. These morasses are ubiquitous in Fiordland and very dangerous. I can well believe you can get stuck in them and be unable to extricate yourself. You can very suddenly plunge (right on the edge) up to your hips - as I have done many times. If you can throw yourself backwards as you fall in it is easier to get out.  Another grave danger of walking in the Fiordland bush is that all these large gullies are actually the moraines of ancient glaciers. Underneath they are boulder fields. And in many places not very far underneath. You need to test each step before you put your weight on it to ensure that you are not going to plunge downwards into a huge crevasse - as I did on the fourth day trying to ascend the 'Waterfall Burn'. Downwards over my head in an instant. Fortunately I did not break anything except my dignity and I was able to climb back out again. Probably the gullies are worst for this than the ridges.

I cannot now remember whether on the particular day I am relating I was alone in the valley - as I have been several times since - or if Brett was somewhere else in the valley. Anyway, I had dropped down into the stream by myself and was wading along in it - as that was the easiest going, Every now and then getting out, then getting back in again. I'm sure you know what thick difficult going is like. There came a point where as I was rounding a bend in the stream, (the banks being nearly as high as I am) something very large and dark surged up and thundered off in a cloud of spray further up the stream, giving me just the barest glimpse of it. All I could say was that it was not a bull, as I would have been able to see its antlers above the banks of the stream.

I followed it (as quietly as I could - spooked things will often halt to look back and see what it was which frightened them) when shortly the stream split in two. Where the two streams joined there was a large patch of sand, and clear as day in the sand were the unmistakable prints of a moose. They were very nearly as large as a cow's prints, and they had the 'signature' dew claw marks a couple of inches behind the main hoof prints such as only moose amongst deer kind have. I would have a photo of them only when I was coming back down again some time later, the rain had all but blurred them clear away - it does rain lots in Fiordland. Expect to get very, very wet, even in Goretex such as I was wearing.

It had crept off upwards into a large swampy area lying between the two streams which did not show up on the topographic map. It must have been very difficult to get good (and accurately interpret) aerial photography in Fiordland. I followed the beast around in this swampy area for I guess about an hour, each circling the other trying to get a look, sometimes seeing a bit of leg perhaps. The water was ankle to knee deep, and there were many small islands each with a vast tree protruding from its centre and surrounded by lowish bushes. The cloud cover came half-way down the trunks of the trees. A prehistoric landscape for a prehistoric creature. I could have taken a shot at it through vegetation - it was often clear just where it was - but I never (nor should you) ever do such a thing. A deer missed is one thing; a dead mate is missed a long time!

Alas, once again light was going to beat me. I had to break off the chase or I would be spending a terrible night out in this saturated forest. There is just no way you could make your way down in failing light or darkness. Having had so little trouble 'putting up' a moose, I was also optimistic that I might do it again. There is no end to human folly!

It disappeared somewhere up there into the head of the burn, and it is no doubt there yet!

After breakfast next morning we were all standing on the edge of the verandah of the hut looking up the Cove, enjoying a smoke or a cup of coffee when a large animal started calling. I thought it sounded something like a cross between a koala bear and a camel. It was definitely not a red deer (which I had heard) or a wapiti (which I have also since heard - they really do bugle. Eerie!) - and it was definitely not a bird of any kind, though there were many Canada geese on the Cove (and we had heard their call many times).

Even though we had been there then for a couple of days, we had still not (instinctively) adjusted our hearing's ability to pinpoint where a sound came from to Fiordland's conditions (I have already mentioned the episode of the whistle). It takes a while for perception to adjust. Another example is one's ability to actually focus on these NZ mountains. They are so much steeper than  ours in Australia, they appear to our perceptions to be closer and/or you find yourself actually unable to focus on exactly where they are. Things can seem blurry, eerie. When you go there you will see what I mean.

So I guess we can be forgiven for being unable to work out exactly where the moose was (we were quite sure that was what it must be - and we were right). Our Australian senses made us overlook a flat area near the mouth of the Hilda Burn nearby (too close). It was clearly coming from the next valley over, what we called the 'Waterfall Burn' both because of the waterfall at the bottom, and the even larger one at the top of it. Here is a photo of the lower one, which you can see would be very difficult and dangerous to climb, and which would be death to descend if the stream rose very much in heavy rain. I do not have a photograph, though I have 'seen' the upper one: It is 160 metres, falling straight down from the clouds the day I was there so that one could not see the top. It was as if it just fell from the sky, and so impossible to photograph! There are lots of things like that in the world. I have a fine collection of snaps where you can't make anything out at all!

The Waterfall Burn:

We decided we would somehow climb the Waterfall Burn to find the calling moose. Now, as this was the only time we heard the call (on our second or third day there I think) I might conclude that this was the end of the moose 'Roar' rather than the beginning. You should know that wherever they be in the world, the 'roar' (or mating) of the moose lasts only one week - but it is the very same week each year. Anyway it was the last day of February.

When we returned we searched the net for moose calls. The first one we played was (unknowingly) the sound of a cow moose. When we played that we were disappointed. Fooled again. you know the sort of thing. Then we played the call of the bull moose. Kapow! That was what we heard all right. So, there had been a cow moose in the Hilda Burn and a bull moose just a kilometre from it - clearly a breeding pair. There must be a few more of them even by now!

The first day we tried to ascend the Waterfall Burn we crossed the stream and tried (all day as it turned out) to beat our way up the true left side of the stream. Utterly unsuccessfully. I doubt it was possible, so don't even try! As we were crossing the stream in the morning (just between the waterfall and the walk wire), we were able to wade across, the stream it being only about mid-calf deep. I was not particularly conscious that it was raining heavily all day, but it was certainly raining. It often does in Fiordland you know. Every year at least ten metres of rain, sometimes several times that!

On this occasion when we returned to the crossing about 4:00pm in the afternoon, the stream had swollen monstrously. The walk wire was very nearly submerged. My memory is that we waited for a large tree to roll along under it before we (very trepidatiously) crossed. There is a lesson here: Never expect to be able to get to your destination when walking in Fiordland - or anywhere else for that matter. 'Be Prepared' is actually a good motto. Thanks Baden Powell.

The Waterfall Burn in flood:

Some of the trees which came thundering down the waterfall.

It does rain a lot and streams can easily rise so much (or morasses expand - you get the picture), that movement either way becomes impossible. You will just have to  stop and wait it out. Fortunately as soon as it does stop raining, because of the steepness of the terrain, the streams etc drop as quickly as they rose. The Seaforth for example is reputed to be able to rise 16 metres in a single day! Eddie Herrick himself relates a story wherein he and Jim Muir his guide almost lost their lives because of their inability to return to camp down the Seaforth, or to cross the Henry Burn.

Next day we tried again walking up a little gully between the Hilda and the Waterfall Burn. It was mostly really dreadful going through thick tree fern, boulders etc and with much broken ground underfoot. This is where/when I fell down the moraine hole. When we finally broke out onto the Burn above the waterfall we immediately tied something (a shopping bag I think) to a tree so we could find our way back down again. We were quite anxious. It had been a trying trip of...maybe a kilometre! Then we walked up the stream as far as we could get before we would have to turn around so we would be back at Supper Cove before dark.

In the top of the Waterfall Burn (You can see the shopping bag tied to the tree):

It is quite a large stream, still two-three metres wide up there I guess, and very pretty, though dark. I have been there on a later occasion, perhaps 2006, 2012 or 2013 (I know I was alone; I usually am) and walked as far as the top waterfall. There had been a moose in this valley recently. There were fresh-ish footprints - given the amount of rain the day before they had to have been no more than a day old, and there was quite a lot of browse. We did not see a moose, or any deer but after all, the hunt is what it's all about. That and seeing fresh sights, some of which maybe no man has seen before, or will again!

A morass in the Waterfall Burn.

I can remember seeing sign there again on a subsequent trip, but what exactly I cannot remember. Browse, marks, droppings...they all blur a bit with time. This year (2017) I realised I had seldom (if ever) actually photographed the browse so I could point it out to people later on (I did not have this blog before, so I had no reason!) There was plenty of old browse in the Hauroko (which I snapped some examples of), then a little barking as I descended into Loch Maree (which I forgot to snap). After that again along the Seaforth there was browse, but by then I had forgotten to take pictures altogether. You just get to enjoying the experience, thinking about other things etc. Last year I walked almost all the way back down from Everest without taking a single photo, though I saw many things I had not noticed on the way up. I had pneumonia is my excuse, but I doubt I will be going back to capture those missing snaps.

For example, in 2006 I took this snap of a couple of ducks. Look behind them though and you can see the height of the browse line on the shiny leaved tree on the right.

We walked back towards the Hilda Burn. The walk wire was out when we were there in 2000 so we had to walk down along the stream to the bottom, cross there and walk along the beach to the hut if the tide was high. If it was a bit lower, we would cross as much of Supper Cove as we could, then cut inland towards the mouth of the Hilda Burn, so our route was a bit different each time, always walking off-track. And that afternoon, in the fading light we found where the bull had been when we heard him call! And he had clearly been camped there for a couple of days, pretty much in sight of the hut - so much closer than we had estimated. But he was not there now. Probably he had gone up to join the cow at the head of the Burn! So much country. And it is utterly impossible to 'track' anything in that country. All you ever see is the odd print. The eternal moss swallows everything up, including sound.

There is this, though. That was 17 years ago now: a pair of moose within a stone's throw of the Supper Cove hut. If you imagine that they managed to breed every year, even if the mortality rate is very high or the fertility rate very low there have to still be a number of moose within cooee of the mouth of the Seaforth. There is still food for them there, and every time I go I can see browse I did not see the time before. Every time I go, I find 'fresh' moose tracks. Conditions in Fiordland are such that you just won't see prints that are a week old. There are just so many places they can easily travel with their long legs and wonderfully constructed feet where no man could possibly go. Because they are so tall they can reach food on precipitously steep slopes where red deer would have no hope.

I think it was not until the second day on that first trip that I began to notice the moose browse, despite having found moose droppings and spied some moose footprints - and having been looking hard. It was not until I came down with an itchy back probably from a sandfly my shirt had failed to stop, and had sidled up to a tree to scratch the middle of my back that, as I did so, my neck craned up and I began to see this characteristic branch breaking and snapping, oh -  so far up! Being used to sambar or red deer browse one just automatically scans the forest at just that height, but these big boys easily reach up more than a couple of feet higher than 'our' deer.

Brett pointing out some moose browse:

Another day on that trip (there were not many more, worse luck) I walked around the point of land on the other side of Supper Cove against the river before the Waterfall Burn. Many of the coprosma trees on the point had been snapped off at just the height moose love to browse 8+ feet. There was no other sign. I thought at the time maybe they were driven lower down like this in the coldest weather as sambar can be somewhat in our mountains, (There are even times that Supper Cove freezes over!) but I have since found plenty of fresh browse lower down and misdoubt now that moose suffer at all from cold. It was just a silly thought really. With moose the opposite is the case, I suspect. They suffer more from hotter weather. NZ summers of 24C or the like can perhaps be quite uncomfortable for a large Arctic animal. It is then, I suspect they spend a greater part of the day lying up in cool deep pools in the burns where the few that have been shot over the years were invariably taken.

That day we continued up as far as the ladder just above the McFarlane Burn looking for Michael who had stayed out overnight without explaining himself, so we were a bit worried - but he is an old bushman. He had a small tent (we knew) and his sleeping bag. So, of course he was fine. He had even managed to light a small fire. Well done indeed. On the way up in the middle of the track we saw an old mark we thought might have been a moose, but it could have been just several deer prints over each other some time past.

In just about the same spot quite near the Old Supper Cove hut site (which is where the track rejoins the Seaforth above the Henry Burn) I have on a number of occasions seen a relatively fresh moose track: once I would say that morning's - if it had been a sambar we would have tried to start the hounds on it once - and on another occasion about a day old, I guess. So the moose do still hang around their old haunt, the Henry Burn, or 'Moose Creek' as Herrick and the other old-time hunters used to call it.

Brett and Michael meet near the McFarlane Burn:

Old Supper Cove Hut site - you can still see the tree fern trunks which formed its floor. A pity they did not leave it standing as it was an important survival shelter - and of historical interest!

I was quite hooked by Fiordland and the Dusky after this trip and vowed to return as often as I could, an ambition with which Della fortunately concurred. It is not every man who has such a splendid wife, I know. What I have done to deserve such good fortune is a mystery to me - may it long be so. Well, it has. But circumstances (and finances) intervened to mean that it would be six years before I could make the trip again. I had returned from the first trip with a reasonable 8-point red deer rack by the way - but I have never taken a gun again. I think the moose need as much chance to breed as we can give them. Besides, guns are very heavy - weighing as much as a week's food really.

In 2006, I decided I could get away for a short trip (a week - if you are a farmer, a week away is an eternity). I decided I would fly in to Supper Cove, stay a couple of days then walk out. I had no idea even if I could do this at all at the grand old age of 56! The track brochures warned how hard it would be, and recommended only fit young folk should try it, & etc. Some of them even die. Fortunately I am young at heart, as I was still able to complete the trip this year at 68!

This was to be my introduction to 'ultralight hiking'. I knew that the weather could make a short trip much longer. Also I did not know whether at my age I would be able to make the distances between the huts, and might have to camp out most nights if I was going to be safe. I had already reasoned that a hammock and tarp would be the safest thing to camp in in Fiordland, so we had been busy making prototypes and had come up with a home-made 2 oz/yd2 hammock  and a 1.3 oz'yd2 silnylon tarp to go with it. This arrangement then weighed around 7-800 grams altogether, less than half the weight of any tent I owned or could have bought I must say, and much lighter than anything then commercially available as well - even if they did look a bit amateurish. I had camped out in it lots of times in the Gippsland bush, so i was quite confident in it.

This is the wonderful ultralight hammock I am now using, a Hummingbird: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-hummingbird-in-the-hand/ Photo is on the beach between the boat shed and the helipad, Supper Cove.  You see what I mean about being able to just camp anywhere (If there are trees) with a hammock!

I bought a Gossamer Gear G4 pack at 450 grams (which I still use sometimes), and I think back then I was still using a Snugpack or Vango synthetic bag which weighed around 8-900 grams (not my sub 600 gram Montbell I use now). I had discovered metho stoves by then, so that was down to a 7 gram model from Minibull plus home-made aluminium flashing windscreen. Back then I used to make fried bread (or Johnny Cakes) every night for lunch on the trail the next day, so I had figured a way to make the stove simmer though I can't remember now what it was! Though quite tasty, it is a bit of a tedious process making 'bread' which I have since then largely abandoned. I will do a post about it in the future though, as it is an important skill. I had moved up to a new digital camera, a Pentax Optio S40 with a 3X zoom which only weighed about 100 grams (saving at least 400 grams on my old film camera).

Back then I was still wearing either Redback Alpine Hiker leather boots (or their Blundstone equivalent) which weighed 600-650 grams dry and about another 50-100 wet, so actually much better than most boots folk still wear today. They are a good, tough boot and if you want a leather boot, I swear by them. I had earlier moved down from ex-army wool shirts and trousers to Columbia nylon shirts and pants. They are vastly lighter, but your upper body especially gets dreadfully smelly wearing them (even when you wash them and put them back on again wet as I used to do then, even if Fiordland!)

When the weather is sufficiently cool (which it almost always is in NZ), I would now wear either an Icebreaker of a Kathmandu light woolen shirt which you can wear for a week without washing (yourself or it) and never mind getting downwind of yourself, though others may disagree! I think back then I still used my lovely Snugpack synthetic coat which probably weighed as much as 600 grams. I was stronger then. I was probably using one of Big Agnes excellent inflatable mats which weighed just under 600 grams from memory, but I might ave skimped and taken a Thermarest self-inflater I suppose which weighed a little less - and was a lot less comfortable besides. And a lot colder in colder weather I might add. I have a lighter, better kit now I think. See eg: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-gorilla-in-the-hand/

On the first day up from Supper Cove to Loch Maree, just as I was about to pass opposite the Roa Stream which is on the other side of the river heading upriver (ie on the true left bank), I heard something in the water like a deer clattering across (going I'm not sure which way) and which given the prevalence of red deer there it often is. I have rarely managed to get a photo of them as they usually make off pretty smartly just like sambar in the dense bush. By the same token a hundred metres or so later on at about the point that the noise in the river was, there were very fresh prints of a huge animal crossing the track. It had clearly come out of the Roa stream, and crossed the river and passed just in front of me, and gone very obviously around the edge of  the swampy bit on the true right bank (not a bad place to camp actually) and then up into the bush on my left. And not very long ago.

You might think a swampy bit like this would be attractive to a moose, but they are a forest creature. This one skirted this particular swamp opposite the Roa Stream.

I could not really tell whether the splashing and the tracks were one and the same. I did have a bit of a look around for it for maybe an hour, but as I could not be sure whether the tracks might have been made earlier that morning or just as I approached, I did not spend a lot of time on it. It wasn't just standing around waiting for me to take a pic of it at any rate. It is a seven hours plus walk for me (then) to Loch Maree, so I pressed on, still arriving after dark in fact, as I have done on a couple of occasions.

It is a long walk, particularly if the tide is in and you can't take the 'short-cut' across the Cove. Later on I was talking to Ken Tustin on the phone. He told me that he and his wife Marg were on that very day high in the Roa stream finding lots of fresh moose browse, so I think it is very likely they pushed this guy out the bottom of the valley and across the track in front of me. This suggests a strategy to me of how a couple of very fit young people might get a snap of a moose - but it would be a pretty wild chance, I guess - and depend on there being more moose there than may be the case.

My purpose on this trip was merely to see if I could walk the Supper Cove to Manapouri 'leg' of the Dusky Track which I was very pleased to have managed in four long days when I finished, even managing a cold beer (and a much needed shower) on the evening of the fourth day! I saw no-one the whole trip, something which I always find very pleasant!

I really enjoyed the trip and purposed to take my oldest daughter Irralee with me the following year, which I did. In 2007, when we arrived at the Supper Cove hut we found that we had missed the resident moose by about a week. There was an awful lot of moose browse all around the hut, trees snapped over all around and some barking behind the hut, just in back of the toilet. Another hunter who had arrived the day before in fact pointed the barking out to us. We had no need to have the other browse pointed out. It was right in front of the hut. The tracks were all washed away and the droppings were falling apart - which is how I arrived at the conclusion of being a week late.

Some of the moose browse in front of the hut: Can you spot the twigs which have been bitten right off 8-9' up?

It would be truly awesome to wake up at the Supper Cove hut and be greeted by a moose outside the window whilst you were eating your muesli for breakfast! That year there was also quite a bit of moose browse on the fuchsia coming down from the slip above the Kenneth Burn to the Gair Loch (on the second day out from Supper Cove), but again it was over a week old.

Irralee is pointing out some Fuchsia browse near the Gair Loch.

Some old barking encountered on the way:

I again walked the track with my son, Bryn in 2008. There were a couple of spots where we found old tracks ('old' in Fiordland probably means at most a day) - anyway the animal wasn't standing in them. From memory again they were near the Old Supper Cove Hut site (ie near the Henry Burn) and near the Kintail Hut as we were crossing the walk wire over the Seaforth there - quite fresh tracks on the sand there, probably from that morning.

Of course you are always on the lookout for whatever made them, and you make forays off into the bush in the direction they appear to be heading, but the bush is so vast (and so thick) and the moose so sparse that it is a hopeless task, really. All that I can say is that you won't see a moose standing in the main street in town back home. if you want to see a Fiordland moose, you will have to be tramping around in the vastness of that wonderful forest. I would hope you shoot one only with a camera really. I have grown quite fond of them - from a distance anyway!

A couple of examples of some barking we found.

This looks like it is probably only a week old at most. Usually/oftenthe barking is much higher, 7 or 8 feet.

The browse around the Supper Cove hut (and the barking) from the year before were still clearly visible (and identifiable) a year later, by the way. In fact two years later, as my daughter was able to point it out to me on our second trip there together in 2009.

You can still see it here in 2009 with a fantail sitting on it.

Bryn and I watched this red deer stag (centre) as we were crossing the Henry Burn. A decent zoom on a waterproof camera would be a plus! You will spot him eventually!

I canoed the Seaforth in 2009, probably one of the silliest things I have ever done. As I was portaging around the shores of Loch Maree - I was walking along the shoreline so I might see any prints rather than walking the track; the water level was low enough to do so that year - they were having a drought in Fiordland. It didn't rain for the whole 13 days we were in the South Island altogether! Anyway, I came across an old set of moose tracks around about where the walk wire about half way along the Loch is. As it hadn't rained for ages, they could have been over a week old. It had just come down to the Loch for a drink, then headed back up the little valley it had come down from.

I was at Supper Cove again in 2011 with Della, but we had to leave precipitously only about an hour after we arrived as Della managed to dislocate her shoulder slipping off a rock. Ouch! Thank goodness for helicopters! No moose that year!

I walked the track again in 2012 in company with a young American, Steve Hutcheson I met at Supper Cove and an Israeli, named Renan Tsorin. Steve and I had about five days at Supper Cove, him fishing and me tramping around in the bush looking for moose. I remember I found some old tracks on the ridge above the Supper Cove hut and in the Hilda Burn - and obviously some browse. I found the same thing along the Henry Burn. I guess I walked nearly half way up it to the fork you must follow if you are to walk over into Herrick Creek - so probably to about the place a couple of the Fiordland moose were shot, long ago. No sign of them now of course.

Here is a (very) old print (the triangular indentation above the glasses case) all filled in with leaves. This would have to be about as old as you are going to be able to see a print in Fiordland - say over a week. This one was over a kilometre up on the ridge behind the hut

Looking down towards the fiord coming down from way up there. The going is pretty steep:

Particularly above Loch Maree along the river on the true left bank there was a lot of moose sign, mainly older browse - say up to a year old. I walked along the river for about three kilometres by myself above the Loch Maree hut and up the Deadwood Stream a bit before crossing over to the track. The young fellows following the track were quite surprised at how I managed to get ahead of them! The river level that year was again very low, so I could do this (and avoid a slow, nasty section of track for the first hour upriver out of Loch Maree). I figured this moose was a resident of the Deadwood Stream which looks big enough to hold a number of them! There was old browse here and there along the river that year - but no tracks.

However as we walked up through the huge slip above the Kenneth Burn, a moose had walked along ahead of us barking the trees quite obviously. I remember pointing this out to Renan, using my fingernails to mimic the action of his giant teeth, and angling my head to indicate how he must have made the bites. I must look a circus sometimes. I wish I had taken photographs! Then, just about where the saddle is before you start to go down again to the Gair Loch, there was a patch of fuchsia on our right which had been the home of a moose for I'd say the best part of a week. S/he had had a really good feed on I guess and acre or two of fuchsia. Anyone who doubted the continued existence of moose in Fiordland would be hard put to explain the extent of its high foraging activity there. I remember a couple of days later I was walking with Steve in the Upper Spey and also pointing out to him some very old moose browse there - in the vicinity of the Dashwood Stream.

This is part of the huge Fuchsia filled slip above the Kenneth Burn where a moose had been browsing for days in 2012. Plenty of food here.

It is a huge area of Fuchsia. There are many such in Fiordland - few as easy of access though.

I had a back operation in 2013 so any Fiordland trips were out that year.

I spent a few days by myself at Supper Cove in 2014 (flying both in and out on that occasion). It was lovely to have the hut to myself for a few days, to go out in the morning exploring the bush around about and in the afternoon catching myself some blue cod for my supper. The most delicious fish anywhere, trust me. Do bring a hand line and a fry pan if you venture that way. I was going to walk out, but on the very last night before the day I would have to leave the next morning of, a party of twelve young people arrived even though none had been there for a month! Of course I tried to persuade them to stay a day and do some fishing (even offering them my line, etc), but they insisted on starting out the next day as well.

All alone in the Supper Cove Hut

I could spread out.

And enjoy some tasty blue cod for tea.

Well one night in a crowded hut with people whose heads were filled with the usual certain certainties of the young was enough for me, so I called up Alan from Wings on Water (who had brought me in) and flew out again. I used the couple of spare days so gained to go have a look at the start of the South Coast Track (out of Tuatapere) walking out to Port Craig and back whilst I was there. I confess I was hurrying along this section - and even walked the beach 'track' all the way from the Hoka Stream. I was not looking for moose sign as I thought this was too far from their 'normal' haunts. I was just checking out the track thinking it was probably easy enough to take Della on the next year. (it was). I was surprised therefore when I spied (on the return trip of course) a small example of moose browse quite close the the shore after the Track Burn - before you begin the climb up the innumerable steps to the Rowallan.

Della and I attempted to walk out to Westies Hut along the South Coast Track in 2015, but got only as far as the Waitutu River as it turned out, because of Della injuring her knee. We rested up and did walk all the way back to the Rowallan though. The same old browse I saw the year before was still there, but I confess i was just not looking out for moose sign along the way - I was looking out for Della!

We headed back out on the South Coast track again in 2016 intent on beating it this time, and getting all the way to Westies or even Big River. Westies as it turned out. It was a lovely trip, our reports of which you can read about eg here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-walk-in-fiordland/ You should really do it! Again, I was mainly intent on looking after Della (who is partially sighted) to be paying overmuch attention to moose sign, though there was a bit of old sign about here and there - for example a little over an hour out from the Waitutu heading for Westies.

When we were walking out from the Wairaurahiri with Pete Baldwin from the wonderful Waitutu Lodge at the Wairaurahiri Mouth, I was explaining to him what he should look for if he ever had the chance to get 'into' the Seaforth country. Right near the Edwin Burn trestle crossing there was an obvious patch of old moose browse, the branches snapped over and stripped in their characteristic way about 8' up, but maybe 1-2 years old. Nothing else could possibly do such a thing. So, there are moose that far East in Fiordland yet.

I have now realised that I smelled a moose in the Hauroko Burn last trip (back in April 2017) and I am really kicking myself for not having stopped, camped and investigated See: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/follow-your-nose/). As I said there: 'I have a confession (of stupidity) to make. Somewhere during this section between the two upper walk wires on the Hauroko Burn, Fiordland, NZ (You can imagine it is in the photo below) I encountered quite  a strong ‘animal’ smell not unlike a goat. I thought to myself at the time, ‘Well, it’s not a deer’. Then I thought, ‘Could it be a plant?’ You know how Dogwood in Australasia is so named because it smells somewhat like wet dog. I thought to myself  ‘I wonder whether the Leather Wood which you encounter just before the tops in NZ (and which is redolent with the musty odour of countless red deer) is so called because it smells of leather?’

There is a sweet cloying honey-like smell you sometimes encounter in these Fiordland forests I have never been able to identify, nor has anyone else I have spoken to been able to pick it for me. (it is not the flower of the ubiquitous tiny epiphytic orchid). It was not that though. I am pretty good on scents having been a hunter all my life. I instantly galvanise to a whiff of fox, roo, wombat, stag, goat, etc.

I scanned the forest about. Saw nothing. Thought to myself, ‘I do not want to arrive at Lake Roe in the dark’ (The hut is hard enough to find as it is, particularly in thick cloud, being off the line to the right); I also had a long way to go, so I carried on. Since then, I have bothered to check what a moose smells like. You guessed it. Goatish. Just like what I was smelling on the Hauroko that day!

There was a moose not 200 metres upwind from me, and I walked on. Despite having a tarp and hammock and more than a week of food, so that I could have spent days hunting it! And I would have doubtless ‘put it up’ withing ten minutes! Dream on! Despite the fact that one of the important reasons I go there is to see a moose. Despite the fact that I had photographed fairly fresh moose barking just back there a little (as you can see below). Despite the fact there is a $100,000 reward for a photo of a NZ moose, I walked on! Lesson: Trust your nose!’

My knee is still not right from an injury in the Hilda Burn on that trip which brought an early end to my off-track explorations then (there was still old browse in the Hilda), so I am wondering about my future ability to do so again, but I am working on it – an hour every morning in the gym and an hour every afternoon walking - on top of my normal farming activities, but at just shy of 70 it takes longer to heal and to get fitter again. Every day though I feel stronger, and have just completed a six day off-trail hike in the Vic mountains, and climbed Qld's tallest mountain, so there is hope!

It was interesting that the Hauroko was nearly eaten out, but with lots of old sign (and clearly a resident moose!) And that there was a 'bloom' of new plants coming up I had not seen in Fiordland before) Yet coming down from Lake Roe to Loch Marie for example, there was oodles of moose plants without much moose sign at all - though some barking. Clearly the moose are fairly light on the ground. Each likely has an enormous territory, perhaps 2-500 hectares, but that still adds up to a lot of moose in Fiordland National Park!

I had this note about the moose on the first of my posts about my 2017 trip: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/from-dawn-to-dusky/

The Elusive Fiordland Moose: Along the way there is sporadic moose sign if you are alert and keen eyed. Nothing else could reach up 2.5-2.7 metres (8-9'), break off branches as thick as your thumb and strip them, or devour all the lower vegetation of their favourite broadleaf plants, or systematically bark trees, or leave footprints as big as a cow's.These solitary leviathans yet roam these forests unseen. I took these shots in an arbitrary few hundred yards walking up the Hauroko.

This coprosma has been systematically broken off about 2.5 metres up.

And this.

Broadleafs have commonly been stripped to this height.

They like to snack on nutritious bark as they amble along.

Leaving footprints as long as my glasses case. Like this:

Or this.

Someday someone will stumble round a corner onto one and snap its pic. A girl from Scotland wrote in the hut book way back in 2000 she had seen one! Already two confirmed C21st DNA samples have been collected, and one or two indistinct photos. It is only a matter of time...

I don't know at this stage whether I will be doing a lot more 'moose hunting' in Fiordland. Mostly these days we go there for the walk anyway and because it is just so beautiful. Any moose we see would no doubt be a bonus - and we surely won't see them elsewhere! I do have a couple of 'new' ideas on how we might find further proof of the continued existence of the NZ moose herd. More about that later.

And oh, I have been thinking about Ken Tustin's theory that the red deer will 'eat out' the moose. I now suspect the opposite is the case because the moose can reach higher, and will obviously break branches down for their young. You can imagine the young moose nearing weaning - they suckle for a long time too - straining upwards as its mother feeds and vocalising, every now and then being able to snag a leaf she lets drop & etc. They are messy eaters at best. I figure she would get the idea and help it feed. They routinely ‘walk down’ trees for themselves, for example. I remember noticing this phenomenon the very first day I was in Fiordland (in the Hilda Burn back in 2000) and wondering what could have produced the phenomenon I was seeing. I had never seen anything like it in the Victorian bush despite it being overrun by sambar deer who are very keen browsers too.

I have noticed that in the areas which appear more eaten out (by moose and everything) that the moose browse seems to consist of more branches actually broken off completely whereas in the less eaten out areas, they tend to be just broken over. I need to spend more time there to confirm this, something which may not happen in this lifetime.

I realise I do not know how this 'boom and crash' population dynamics works (with any creature) though, so maybe I am wrong. I am not a wildlife biologist, but I have been a farmer and hunter for a long while. Some places look very eaten out by deer, particularly along river banks and near huts and other clearings, yet in other steeper places there is little sign of any grazing animals. Another interesting observation: along the Hauroko for example, there is this shiny leaf tree which moose obviously like. In many places it was browsed lower from the river bottom than it was from the river bank (but in each case as high as a moose could reach ie 8'+ up) giving it a lopsided appearance. I had not noticed this before. No doubt there are lots of other ‘signs’ which escape one’s attention for years.

Here is a tree moose quite like, (I don't know what it is called). You can see that this one which is hanging out over a precipice (in the Hauroko) has still been browsed ( a long time ago) as far as a moose can reach out, and certainty further than anything else could.

Here the moose has been walking along in the stream reaching up and has mown these trees to a precise height. They have even managed to strip some of the branches hanging down. You see this everywhere. We went down the Wairaurahirti River in a jet boat (twice - and Della wants to go again, and again. So should you!) Anywhere this plant could be reached it was trimmed to about 8-9' from the ground (or where a moose could stand) , but where nothing could reach it (eg in a very deep rapid) it was actually touching the water.

In 17 years I have not been able to get back to Fiordland in the summer. By the time we have been able to stop watering our garden and watching out for the 'bushfires' that a ratbag collection of maniacs have taken to lighting every summer in our part of the world it is at best late March, usually April, sometimes May. And of course I am often there when the 'Roar' is on so every moose has been scared well away from the valley bottoms by ubiquitous deer hunters. It's like always going sambar stalking on a full moon, or in early Spring when the deer have moved back from the valley bottoms (as fresh feed pops out from under the snow - and the young are born. Not such a good time for hunting.

I do always find old sign though, sometimes not that old even. I am convinced if i could spend several summers walking along in the streams there I would put up another moose. I'm not sure whether at my age I can do such hard work in hot, steamy weather, and I don't know whether I will ever be able to get away at such a time or not.

Perhaps!

PS: I wrote this article at Ken Tustin's request, as he is preparing a new edition of his book/a new book about the Fiiordland moose. He and he wife are the true moose experts and heroes of this interesting saga. More about them here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/nz-moose/

PS: The 'Cover' photo was sent to me from Sweden by my son, Bryn on this day (24/10) 2011. He must have known I would find a use for it! European moose are smaller than the Canadian moose which live in Fiordland, by the way.

29/10/2017: A Year Ago Today, I was walking up to Everest with Steve Hutcheson: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/i-followed-my-footsteps/

29/10/2017: Bacon Sandwich Anyone: Betsy Booren Vice President of Scientific Affairs North American Meat Institute, ‘They tortured the data to ensure a specific outcome…Red and processed meat are among 940 agents reviewed by IARC and found to pose some level of theoretical ‘hazard.’ Only one substance, a chemical in yoga pants, has been declared by IARC not to cause cancer.’ YES, Seriously: YOGA PANTS! I eat a lot of them! 40 out of 50 common foods also pose a cancer ‘risk’ according to this study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23193004/  What ARE we to eat?

29/10/2017: Freedom and Death: One of my favourite books when I was a teenager was Nikos Kazantzakis’ wonderful ‘Freedom and Death’ whose sentiment echoed Patrick Henry’s famous statement: ‘Give me liberty, or give me death’. Of course, with liberty we need to expect a certain amount of collateral damage: freedom is ever paid for with the blood of patriots. Such folk might just be our own children maybe skinning their knee or breaking the odd bone as they are allowed (nay encouraged) to ‘Go outside and play’ and ‘Don’t bother mummy’ – You remember that? Our children (and grandchildren) need much more of that, and much less of the cossetting, lest they grow up to be like the fragile flowers we see all about us today: https://reason.com/archives/2017/10/26/the-fragile-generation

28/10/2017: The Good News: The World's Poorest People Are Getting Richer Faster than Anyone Else: ‘In 1820, 94 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty (less than $1.90 per day adjusted for purchasing power). In 1990 this figure was 34.8 percent, and in 2015, just 9.6 percent. In the last quarter century, more than 1.25 billion people escaped extreme poverty.’ Thank You Capitalism: https://fee.org/articles/the-worlds-poorest-people-are-getting-richer-faster-than-anyone-else/

28/10/2017: Update of my 2012 post: ‘It's a little worse than 'The dog ate my homework'! Someone has stolen both the file at Slater & Gordon and the file at the WA Corporate Affairs which would prove Gillard's criminal complicity in the 'Wilson Affair' - but, remember this: someone still has them!’ Well, now Michael Smith clearly has them. Very day he is publishing great gobs of incriminating stuff about her and Wilson. Remember, she could sue him for defamation but she would lose that too, because what he says is true. She is/was one of Australia’s largest crooks. Smith’s private prosecution will succeed, and she will go to gaol: Utterly unfit to hold public office. Her prosecution (and Shorten’s- probably) will destroy the Labor Party’s chance at the next election, unless it is held in the next few weeks – with Turnbull still as Liberal leader; hopefully not! This does not mean the Liberals will win. I think outsiders are still in there with a chance. Remember Trump and Macron, for example. I hope Malcolm Roberts runs for New England, for example – he is one of the finest members we have had in the last 50 years: http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/

28/10/2017: Private Property: How we need a ‘Boneta Bill’ here too! One of the few ‘rights’ in our constitution is the right to private property (and its converse) that Government may not confiscate it without (paying) just compensation. Yet the examples of Government doing just that are legion; from simple idiotic ordinances such as the children’s birthday party planning permit which provoked Boneta, to large scale confiscation of farmland for ‘environmental’ reasons… Frankly it frightens me to realise what most people (leftists) consider  to be ‘rights’. Their ‘rights, almost invariably mean the confiscation of someone else’s property for the ‘good’ of someone else (themselves?). The right to work, free speech, freedom of assembly, bear arms, self protection, justice, national defence…etc are low down on their list. Do they even make their list?  http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/10/virginia_farmer_starts_property_rights_legal_revolution.html

27/10/2017: A British adventurer has flown 25km (15.5 miles) across South Africa suspended from 100 helium balloons: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-bristol-41737642?SThisFB

27/10/2017: So, you thought Trump was starting a war against North Korea? Perhaps you should ask the Chinese: https://www.weaselzippers.us/361357-report-chinese-north-korea-relationship-at-end-another-missile-test-will-mean-war-by-the-chinese-against-north-korea/

27/10/2017: Yet Another Silent Spring: ‘There is no credible evidence whatsoever that glyphosate – or RoundUp – is carcinogenic. The only reason some people believe otherwise is because of scaremongering articles like this, derived from misinformation which originates from this UN agency, the IARC. How do we know it’s untrue? Thanks to a special investigation by Reuters, which found that the IARC had completely misrepresented the available research on glyphosate.’ http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/10/23/delingpole-science-establishment-rocked-scandal-un-cancer-chemical/ This is just another example of Green evil. You remember when they did this with DDT, and 100 million people died as a result? They also did so with neonicotinoids: http://www.breitbart.com/london/2014/12/05/investigation-how-green-activist-scientists-rigged-an-eu-pesticide-ban-costing-farmers-and-businesses-billions/

26/10/2017: Western civilization heading over a cliff; thanks Frau Merkel: http://www.frontpagemag.com/point/268214/germany-terror-cases-quadruple-900-daniel-greenfield 

26/10/2017: Global Warming going over a cliff too: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/10/25/so-far-this-year-400-scientific-papers-debunk-climate-change-alarm/

26/10/2017: Toughen Up: Why Don’t People Understand What It Is To Be a Soldier: (The Trump ‘Telephone Incident’): http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2017/10/24/ex-green-beret-says-what-special-forces-really-think-about-niger-goes-viral-on-twitter/  & https://fee.org/articles/trump-s-general-is-right-soldiering-is-not-a-normal-job/  & http://dailycaller.com/2017/10/19/the-general-speaks-kelly-urges-americans-to-remember-what-is-sacred/

26/10/2017: How Sure Are We That The Universe Is 13.8 Billion Years Old? https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/10/21/ask-ethan-how-sure-are-we-that-the-universe-is-13-8-billion-years-old/#60859d8060ac

25/10/2017: This is really moving. Watch a colour blind man see for the first time: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/once-was-colour-blind-now-can-see/news-story/b18dddb1f148beb5c658adf713601ac1

25/10/2017: Marise Payne (another Turnbull clone) just keeps showing herself to be a dead head. Compare her take on the danger of returning jihadists with her British counterpart: Rory Stewart: ‘We have to be serious about the fact these people are a serious danger to us, and unfortunately the only way of dealing with them will be, in almost every case, to kill them.’ Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne: ‘Australians who have joined Daesh are subjected to the same risks as any other member of the criminal organisation and should expect to perish on the battlefield.’ Tip: Learn the difference between active and passive voice, Marise. I know you will think this sounds awfully sexist too, but I would like it if our Defence Minister looks like s/he could take on one or two baddies himself/herself (and the same goes for cops). Even Julie looks like she could knock a couple of head together, but Marise (like Kim Beazley before her) looks like she might pose a danger to baddies is s/he sat on them - supposing they were slow-moving enough!

25/10/2017: CO2: The Culprit: Some things you might NOT know: Ice core expert Jaworowski states, ‘The basis of most of the IPCC conclusions on anthropogenic causes and on projections of climatic change is the assumption of low level of CO2 in the pre-industrial atmosphere. This assumption, based on glaciological studies, is false.’ http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/10/17/deconstruction-of-the-anthropogenic-global-warming-agw-hypothesis-2/

25/10/2017: Energy Crisis: It's amazing that over a century after Einstein's 'e=mc2' that some folks are still worried about 'The Energy Crisis'. Controlled nuclear fusion (not such a long way off now < twenty years?) will end all such concerns. Progress will also be made on understanding such spectacular energy phenomena as ball lightning, sprites, 'cosmic rays', neutrinos, gravity & etc. It will be a much better world in the future. Fear not!

24/10/2017: Our largest army: Fortunately, despite huge Government interference before (and after) Port Arthur, Australia's hunters still represent a larger 'army' than our official army, and as demonstrated in two World Wars & etc, can be relied on to bolster its numbers with well-qualified soldiers if/when the need ever arises. https://shariaunveiled.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/a-tribute-to-the-worlds-largest-army-americas-hunters/

24/10/2017: Green Fracking: You may think it odd that the green movement opposes fracking for natural gas but support hot fracture rock geothermal technology, which is clearly also fracking but you see, the first works whilst the latter does not – so it’s quite simple really!

24/10/2017: The madness that is Canada – do we really want this here? PS: Canada has a Somali Immigration Minister: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/267563/invasion-canada-daniel-greenfield

23/10/2017: Hein’s Taxidermy: Della just loves stuffed animals which is maybe why she has kept this particular stuffed old animal around for nearly fifty years! It may be a family trait. We have this wonderful family photo circa 1903 of her grandfather as an apprentice hairdresser in Hawick, Scotland outside Richie Law’s shop. As you can see the other specialty of the shop was taxidermy!

If you need fine taxidermy services in Southern Victoria or Gippsland, may I recommend Hein”s Taxidermy at Port Albert. Hein did a beautiful job recently on our late much-loved Dusky Lorikeet, Rusty as the photo below shows.You can contact him from his Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/Heins-Taxidermy-port-albert-1549231728642024/

 23/10/2017: Two great points by Alan Moran: ‘In 1901 the Commonwealth spent 3 per cent of national income. Today it taxes and spends a whopping quarter of the income that firms and individuals earn…The Commonwealth Government in 1901 had 258 pages of regulatory Acts. Today it has more than 100,000 pages’ http://ipa.org.au/news/2769/regulations-that-worked-in-1901-do-not-work-now

23/10/2017: His wife is even battier than he is: Lucy Turnbull, the ‘Greater Sydney Commissioner: ‘It’s only taken us 230 years to catch up with a vision that our indigenous ancestors always had for this city’. Away with them both!

23/10/2017: Bernie Sanders’ Economics #101: ‘Sure, You'll All Pay More Taxes... But You'll Get More Free Stuff’. Bernie was clearly singing from the same hymn book as Labor and the Greens here. Listen up peeps: ‘There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch’: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-19/bernie-americans-sure-youll-all-pay-more-taxes-youll-get-more-free-stuff & https://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/2017/10/19/more-honesty-from-the-left-the-goal-is-big-tax-increases-for-the-middle-class/

http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/10/17/20171019_bernie_0.png

22/10/2017: Hein's Taxidermy:

Some of Hein’s many interesting pieces:

And finally our dear little Rusty the Dusky Lorikeet:

 See also: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/rusty-the-dusky-lorikeet/

While you are at Port Albert you should check out the Old Port Walking trail too, as well as its many other attractions: caravan park, hotel, restaurant, fish and chip shop, fishing charter, boat hire, etc: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/there-is-simply-nothing-like-an-old-port-walking-trail/ We had a brilliant (cheap) meal in the Customs Inn hotel while we were there – best fish’nchips I’ve had in a long while.

22/10/2017: Oradour, the French town the Nazis murdered. Lest we forget, the entire town has been preserved in memory of this terrible event: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oradour-sur-Glane_massacre & http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/france/articles/Oradour-sur-Glane-France-moments-of-Nazi-massacre-frozen-in-time/

http://kooxproductions.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Oradour-photo-2-net.jpg

22/10/2017: From an atheist: So, you think Christianity has nothing to offer: 20 things you should stop doing in your 20s – or never start: https://relevantmagazine.com/article/the-5-things-20-somethings-need-to-stop-doing/?utm_source=sendinblue&utm_campaign=10192017__RELEVANT_This_Week&utm_medium=email

21/10/2017: The latest ‘equality’: https://www.bearmageddonnews.com/2017/03/09/should-inclusive-restrooms-really-include-bears/

https://www.bearmageddonnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/BearBathCover.jpg

21/10/2017: MH370: I am almost willing to bet on these guys. Might have been better to employ them on this basis in the first place before ‘employing’ public servants to spend $160 million mostly looking in huge areas where the plane could not be (ie it had already passed over them): http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/incidents/malaysia-has-entered-into-a-no-find-no-fee-arrangement-with-ocean-infinity-to-find-mh370/news-story/5ee001fb114604c3d2d16b78b7031712

21/10/2017: The Road to Hell: I am so over ‘virtue signalling’. Give me, ‘deeds, not words’  every time, please: http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/virtue-signalling/

20/10/2017: Silver River, Endless Sky: Yesterday I canoed the Macalister Gorge (from Basin Flat to Cheyne's Bridge). This is probably my favourite section of this wonderful river, and I confess I have completed it many, many times. One of the best bits about this section is that you can do it entirely by yourself as i did yesterday (everyone begging off for trifling reasons such as work), as you can always drop your boat off then return to Cheyne's Bridge, perch on the bonnet of your car and stick your thumb out. usually (as yesterday) the first car will stop and give you a lift back to basin Flat. Yesterday I did not even have time to lock the car before i had a lift!

Basin Flat is 20 minutes by road above Cheynes Bridge (on the main road to Licola (Gippsland, Victoria, Australia). The road climbs up over a Mountain range (Burgoynes) then descends again to where it rejoins the river at Basin Flat. You have to climb two fences in about 70 metres to put your boat in the river, then off you go.

I have included a lot of photos to give you a reasonable idea of what the  whole trip looks like. Yesterday it took me 5 3/4 hours (at age 68) but with frequent stops to take photos, have a look around , meal beaks etc. I used to be able to do the trip in under 4 hours - but that was before the fires and floods made the river wider and shallower, as well as stealing most of its summer water, so that it is difficult now to get a 30C day with enough water (above say 1.63 on the Licola gauge - yesterday it was 1.72 = perfect).

The river is canoeable (at least) from the Caledonoia Confluence downstream though the section down to the Barkly (4 hours of Grade 2 and 3) would best suit packrafts (locked gate.) From the Barkly Bridge down to Licola is a great section of closely-spaced Grade 2 rapids which takes about 4 hours. You would probably need about 1.8 metres at the Licola gauge to do this which would be hard to find in the warmer months these days. From Licola to Basin Flat is mostly flat water through farm land with some pebble races and the odd Grade 2 rapid and takes about four hours. From Cheynes Bridge to Paradise Valley or Lake Glenmaggie is mostly Grade 1 and very pleasant and takes another approx six hours. Of course the river is canoeable downstream from Lake Glenmaggie and is almost all flat water taking a number of days.

Ready to begin at Basin Flat:

This trip is a great canoe training trip as it begins with a long flat section with just a few pebble races, gradually you encounter the odd grade 2 rapid. After Burgoynes track there are two grade 3 rapids and quite a number of Grade 2 as well. The last hour is once again on reasonable flat water with mainly just pebble races. There are many, many wonderful spots to camp, swim etc along the way. It is really ideal as a very leisurely 2-4 day canoeing/fishing/hunting trip.

Pebble race

The first Grade 2 rapid at just about the end of the flat (after nearly 1/2 an hour has an overhanging tree at the moment. You could chance being able to duck under it I suppose. I didn't.

About 3/4 of an hour from the start (on the true left bank - at the end of a large flat) there is an old pioneer hut which someone has lovingly restored lately

They have done such an excellent job. I particularly admired their bush ladder.

About an hour in the river splits. I took the right fork with this entertaining drop. The left fork used to have a fun chute, but there may not be enough water going down it now. At the bottom of this drop there is a vast swimming hole on a right hand bend (complete with this turtle). A lovely spot to camp.

Swimming hole: this is the spot whee someone stole my paddle many years ago: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/canoeing-the-macalister/

If you are going to camp overnight I suggest you bring all your gear up off the river and out of sight. Strange people sometimes camp at Cheynes Bridge and may decide to canoe the river. Mind you I have only that once encountered anyone else.

There are lots of grassy flats along the way.

The one on the left bank after the large hole is quite vast. There used to be the remains of an old shepherd's hut underneath an ancient quince. Since the fires it is no more. I came down the river just after the dreadful fires. At this spot there was an old doe who had given her life to save her twin fauns who were lying by her side under the quince where her body was quite mummified; they had so dehydrated her. They ran away as I approached, but quietly crept back again. I hope they survived.

I usually stop for lunch (after about 1 1/2 hours) opposite it at a place I used to call 'The Willows' where you could sit in the shade and enjoy your lunch plus a cold beer or two.

Yesterday I had to chase half a dozen sambar deer off the sandbank before I could sit down, the descendants of that old doe perhaps. They did not stay long enough for a photo though I did see them.

Dingoes had been busy here having killed a black wallaby.

Lunch over, I am off again.

You have to watch out for snags (and rocks). Stick to the inside curves. If in any doubt, get out and walk. Lots of people have died on this section of river over the years. Do not get side on to a log (this can easily mean death), or to the current in general. Generally follow the centre course in rapids, but on bends try to stay on the inside of curves so you do not get forced onto the outside edge and overturned. Rocks will often try to tip you out; you often have to lean in towards them to prevent this.

The straight just above Burgoynes, and a lovely valley on your right.  Burgoynes Track off the Licola Rd. A popular place to camp if you have a serious 4WD. Many intrepid folk cross the river here to camp further downstream. Don't do this unless you are sure of what you are doing. You can also come down from the other side (off the Black range Rd, or the Green Hills Road near Mt Useful)

Just below Burgoynes you come to the first Grade 3 rapid. it has had a log stuck in it for some time making it even more dangerous. i portaged it on the right hand side.

There are a number of lovely campsites below Burgoynes (if you are vehicle camping). If you are canoeing you have many other choices - and greater privacy.

Another spot: you can drive right down to the beach.

Just below is an entertaining one metre drop on a right hand bend. Many folk have had an impromptu swim here.

This is the 'Morning Glory' Hut - quite a palatial establishment, even boasting a bar and hut book!

This beautiful cliff on the right bank follows soon after. This is about half way through your trip. Keep an eye out here. A Grade 3 rapid is just around the left hand corner. Stay on the left hand side to check it out or portage it if you have any doubts about your ability:

You can see it needs to be approached cautiously. I once fell out here and lost my 30:06 in the rapid. It must have taken me an hour to retrieve it from where it was lodged amongst the rocks in the bottom of the rapid.

This goes on for a long way. If you fall out here you can be swimming for a while particularly if the river is higher.

Shortly after the Mt Useful Creek comes in on your right. It is a very large, steep valley rising on the eastern side of Mt Useful

There are some pleasant Grade 2 rapids along here.

A couple of promising gullies come in from the Black Range on your right. Good spots to camp too. There is a large cave on a ridge somewhere along here. I missed it yesterday. I climbed to it once. It was full of bats.

There are fine beaches and lovely swimming holes.

And the odd entertaining drop.

The locals peer out at you as you drift past.

Somewhere along here I stopped for a snack and a spell yesterday. And to admire the view upstream.

And downstream. No-one else in sight for 10 km either way. That suits me just fine.

This is the last straight (and beautiful valley on your right) before Warabinda (a 'wilderness' youth camp). There are two dwellings here built with the help of the street kids being helped here: the first on your left just around the far bend, the second on your right.

I saw lots of ducks and shags. The river has many giant carp. You often see a sea eagle eating them. But also it has excellent trout, eels as long as your legs and the occasional redfin perch.

The Warabinda 'Flying Fox'. It is 45 minutes from here to the bridge, mainly on flattish water.

One of the last rapids.

You are into cattle country now.

This is the very last rapid. Surprisingly I have fallen out more often here than anywhere else!

And the very last straight

Then here you are at Cheynes Bridge where there is a large camping ground.

See Also:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/canoeing-the-macalister/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/canoeing-the-macalister/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/canoeing-the-macalister-river/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/canoeing-the-macalister-2/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/canoeing/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/silver-river-endless-sky/

20/10/2017: Like everything he does, Turnbull’s new energy scheme is rubbish: Bring back Tony (and Hazelwood) before it is too late: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/turnbulls-electricity-plan-just-died/news-story/61d08888328c56b264ee517b2594d157

20/10/2017: About those ‘unprecedented’ California wildfires: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/10/19/delingpole-what-the-greenies-dont-want-you-to-know-about-the-california-wildfires/

 

20/10/2017: In its just-released report on the 5G mobile network, scheduled to launch in 2020, Deloitte Access Economics observes: ‘5G networks are also expected to improve speeds. They are expected to reach speeds of up to 10 Gbps, providing a more seamless user experience. This is over 100 times the advertised data rates for 4G networks in Australia of between 2-100Mbps, and maximum speeds could be similar to those provided by fixed-line broadband networks.’ So, $60 billion later, is it worth persisting with the NBN? PS: Apparently a number of other countries already have 5G and are moving on to 6G!

20/10/2017: What the ‘Me Too’ brigade miss: A larger percentage of men than women are victims of rape: http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/abuse-of-young-boys-rife-in-hollywood-after-cocaine-fuelled-parties-held-by-gang-of-hollywood-paedophiles/news-story/d17e1e1b924183cd70e41862e343ae7e

19/10/2017: Nooramunga: On Sunday we spent a few hours in preliminary exploration between Port Albert and Welshpool. It seems like it will be possible to walk from Welshpool to the track at the edge of the private land which runs down from Old Telegraph Road to Port Albert. (It is very hard to spot as it appears at first to be someone's driveway). From that point you could easily paddle across to the caravan park at Port Albert in your pack raft or you would need to walk back to the main Highway to cross the bridge over the river (water, toilets), then continue on towards Port Albert taking the first exit to the right to the Caravan Park then walk along the Old Port Walking Trail into Port Albert (beer, fish'n chips). There are two small streams to cross which would usually supply water (probably) needing filtering.

You could either walk along the high tide 'track' or make use of the many sand tracks in the park itself. If you have a look first on Google Earth, you will see what I mean. The 'high tide track' is blocked off (poorly as it turns out) by large concrete obstacles to (ineffectively) stop the many hog deer poachers. There is a lot of evidence of these beautiful little deer (and we saw three of them in broad daylight), so no doubt the poachers have a wonderful time of a night.

If, rather than their ineffective attempts to close off the area, the relevant department were to sell very expensive access permits, they would have a ready supply of persons very willing to police these illegal elements. This would work well in many similar situations, as well as raising funds for park maintenance, etc.

This walk would form part of this: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-great-gippsland-circuit/

Wilsons Prom rising above the sea mist:

Gulls and shear-waters hunting the littoral:

And a cormorant spearing a tiddler:

And drifting with the tide:

It is a pleasant walk along the high tide line, millions of tiny crabs.

But in many places churned up by the many poachers; Spot 'points' a hog deer:

19/10/2017: The AEMO shows that even today Victoria is desperately short of electricity (and needed to import around half of what Hazelwood should have been producing). It is raining here at Jeeralang Junction. Without Queensland’s ‘surplus’ there would be blackouts along the East Coast today. If only one generator trips in such a circumstance there inevitably will be. Come summer there certainly will be. Yet Labor and the Greens applaud, and Turnbull ‘fiddles’. Why do we let such people ruin our once-great society? http://www.aemo.com.au/Electricity/National-Electricity-Market-NEM/Data-dashboard#nem-dispatch-overview

18/10/2017: And I am off white water canoeing on the Macalister for the day: See post here: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/silver-river-endless-sky/

18/10/2017: From my news feed today; It’s all happening in Jeeralang Junction: 74 Year Old Jeeralang Junction Grandma Shocks Doctors: $5 Trick To Remove Lip Lines Jeeralang Junction Mum Shocks Doctors: Do This Daily To Burn Belly Fat While You Sleep! Jeeralang Junction Millionaire Exposes How She Earns $472/Hour. Strangely there are only about six people live here, so some of these folks must be us!

18/10/2017: This mass death/ice event has happened now twice in five years: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-41608722 and meanwhile in the Northern hemisphere more sea ice too: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/10/17/fast-regrowth-in-arctic-sea-ice-outpaces-recent-years/ Where is that ‘global warming’? Or was it the sun all along? Have you been noticing too over the last decade or so that there have been enormously fewer sun-spots and that solar experts have opined that this would presage a multi-decade cooling? Oh dear!

18/10/2017: Even Angela is learning. When will we: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-09/germanys-open-doors-are-closing-merkel-seeks-new-limits-refugees Also see: https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2017/09/mass-immigration-suffocating-europe/ ‘130,000 women in Britain have suffered from female genital mutilation. That barbarity has been illegal for three decades, yet no one has been successfully prosecuted’

17/10/2017: Moose versus Wolf. Who wins? https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=34&v=akGWOpcWfrQ

 

17/10/2017: Good News from AustriaAustralia’s turn next? https://www.yahoo.com/news/latest-polls-close-pivotal-austrian-election-150912148.html

17/10/2017: Happy 100th Birthday Communism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxMWs8RyLLI

17/10/2017: The new tyranny of the offensive word: https://www.academia.org/the-origins-of-political-correctness/

16/10/2017: For millions of years it was a struggle to get enough to eat, then along came Western agriculture: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/10/11/child-and-teen-obesity-rates-soar-globally-who-reports.html

16/10/2017: Why should the innocent die when the guilty can die for them? To me this is not just an ethical imperative but just sound commerce: Heart, lungs, liver, two kidneys = 4 lives (minimum) plus two people who can be given their sight back in one eye - plus sundry other useful bits and pieces I have missed. Four innocent lives for one guilty one seems like a deal too good to be missed to me. 400% return! You'd put your money on that! If you sometimes accidentally get the wrong offender, society is still well ahead as compared with where it is now ie spending millions each year keeping each guilty one alive whilst condemning thousands of innocents to death. And if they are not fit to harvest organs from (diseased or whatever) then surely they can still benefit society by being used for medical experimentation which would otherwise be considered too dangerous to be ethical. Such research could also end up saving the lives of thousands of innocents. Let's start on this now!

16/10/2017: Free speech is so important; our laws against it must be abolished:

“If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” - George Washington

“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.” - Benjamin Franklin

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” - George Orwell

“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.” - Harry S. Truman

“I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” - James Madison

“The moment you say that any idea system is sacred, whether it’s a religious belief system or a secular ideology, the moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible.” - Salman Rushdie

15/10/2017: Ultralight Saws: Particularly when track hiking (which I mostly avoid) I have found that I need to clear a small spot to erect my tent. Often the track times do not suit such retired folks as ourselves (and many other much younger people!) so that you find yourself needing to camp where there is no campsite, or this can happen for some other reason (flooded river, injury, etc. No doubt sometimes this is illegal, but on our recent Bartle Frère walk for example, it was not – and we did.

Nonetheless, it is often necessary, eg if you are walking the South Coast Track in Tasmania where there are far too few ‘official’ camp sites. Usually it is just a matter of removing a couple of very small branches or saplings to fit the tent in, surely something which should not trouble anyone. Of course I often carry a machete, and I have recommended these tools for eg canoe clearing, but on long hikes where I am really trying to shave weight I need something lighter which will still do this job when necessary.

Here is a selsection of ideas ranked from heaviest to lightest:

160 grams: Felco 600 160mm Folding Saw: 160mm straight blade folding saw. Rust resistant hard chromed blade made from high quality steel. Impulse hardened teeth for long life. Comfortable non-slip handle. Cuts on pull stroke. Weight 161g: https://www.forestrytools.com.au/index.php?id=23

The 120 grams: Fiskars Xtract Garden Saw is hard to beat, but still a lot to carry: https://www.bunnings.com.au/fiskars-xtract-garden-saw_p3360611

110 grams: The 15” ‘Little Buck’ is a folding ultalight buck saw which also take a bone saw blade if you are a hunter. It folds up into a small enough packjage to fit in your back pocket: .http://www.qiwiz.net/saws.html

71 grams: This guy has found a drywall saw with a plastic handle which weighs 71 grams (without blade protector): https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/drywall-saw-as-a-cheap-ultralight-wood-saw/

30-100 grams: In this post I talk about making an improvised bow saw which weighs from a saw blad and a couple of split rings. You would need to add a blade protector: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/improvised-bow-saw/

48 grams: Buck saw blade cut down with light wooden handle (no blade protection): https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/84465/

18 grams: This guy has cut a pruning saw blade down. No handle, no blade protection: https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/58401/

34 grams: This is a darlac mini folding prinung saw with a 3 ½” blade capable of cutting wood to approx 2”  http://darlac.com/?product=dp818-mini-pocket-folding-saw

8 grams: The Dermasafe ultralight saw at 8 grams is the lightest saw I have found, and might work in an emergency: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/dermasafe-ultralight-knives-and-saws/ You can replace the blade with a jig saw blade better suited to wood cutting as shown in the second photo:

I notice that the plastic clip from a stationery folder makes a near-perfect saw protector. The photos show a 1’ buck saw blade. A couple of rubber bands would secure this saw in yor pack for speedy efabrication with a length of green wood.

I already own the Dermasafe but I will switch it. I am going to be buying the Darlac saw at 34 grams. I figure it as an ‘everyday carry’. The saving in weight by switching to the ultralight containers I wrote about recenty will cover 8 grams of its weight. I am only ‘off’ about 18 grams once I subtract the Dermasafe. I’m sure I can find that saving somewhere.

The Darlac was recently on eBay for UK 6.95

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DP818-Darlac-Folding-Pocket-Saw-Pruning-/260524209048?pt=UK_Home_Garden_GardenEquipment_HandTools_SM&hash=item3ca873f398 

 

15/10/2017: Two men were sitting at the bar on the top floor of the Empire State Building

 

One man says to the other, "You know, if you jump out the window here, the force of the wind will blow you back in through the window on the 90th floor."

 

The other man says "Get outta here,  you're joking aren't you?"

 

The first man says "No, here, I'll prove it!" He stands on the window ledge, jumps out and comes back in through the 90th floor window.

 

The other man says. "That was just a one off. Do it again!" So the first man does it again and comes through on the 90th floor. He runs back up and says "See, I'm telling the truth!"

 

The second man says, "Wow, I'm gonna do it too then." He stands on the window ledge, jumps out and falls to his death.

 

The barman, who just caught the end of this says to the first man, "You know, Superman, you're a real jerk when you're drunk!"

15/10/2017: Chevron, BP pull out: The Greens are trumpeting their triumph over this decision, but to my mind when huge infrastructure projects start heading west it means Australia is no longer financially viable as a long-term investment. What this bodes (when aligned with our enormous debts) is that in the not too distant future we will be another Greece. This is not something to be optimistic about. Both major parties need to get behind resource development - and certainly drop this insane opposition to fracking which is merely C21st Ludditism: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/chevron-drops-400m-bight-drilling-plans/news-story/a5126cd6d615a514541c30d8da53285b

15/10/2017: Pie in the Sky: 4 out of 5 Australians want to pay Nothing for ‘clean energy’, a survey which shows the appalling state of logic education in Australia: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/10/another-meaningless-survey-shows-4-in-5-australians-want-clean-energy-if-someone-else-pays/

15/10/2017: Conservatives will decide the issue in the next election, it seems. The Reachtel poll from Qld shows a LNP victory on One Nation preferences for example. This is even before Bernardi’s votes are counted. And, surely it is certain that by the next Federal election Malcolm will be gone, surely replaced by someone with a more conservative streak, and more backbone (like Tony). As we saw with the return of Rudd, things can turn around very quickly in Oz politics nowadays: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/one-nation-to-decide-queensland-election/news-story/c4bf3774786e855341160893365d54e0 

14/10/2017: Firefly - The Ultimate Swiss Army Knife Accessory

 

Firefly is a tailor made fire starter for your Swiss Army Knife https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/740457940/firefly-the-ultimate-swiss-army-knife-accessory

 What is the Firefly?

The Firefly is a custom sparking-steel fire starting tool designed to work seamlessly with a large variety of Swiss Army knives.  

The Firefly is tailor made to replace the toothpick in a Swiss Army knife or tool, it is plug-and-play, and no knife modifications are required.

 

Firefly - The Ultimate Swiss Army Knife Accessory project video thumbnail

14/10/2017: Suppose you had some time on yor hands, a pair of scissors and some paper – could you do this: http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2017/10/miniature-paper-plants-by-raya-sader-bujana/

14/10/2017: Swedish Death Cleaning – when should you start? Probably too late for me: http://nypost.com/2017/10/05/swedish-death-cleaning-is-the-morbid-new-way-to-de-clutter-your-life/

14/10/2017: More from Sweden; Social Progress has many downsides: http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/10/swedish-dentist-reveals-80-migrant-children-actually-adults-fired-now-may-lose-home/

13/10/2017:

13/10/2017: Malcolm 8% behind. Time to get off the potty: http://www.essentialvision.com.au/category/essentialreport

13/10/2017: ‘The average human being has one breast and one testicle.’

 

13/10/2017: The slippery slope; well the slippery bridge anyway: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2356774/Australian-woman-Jodi-Rose-marries-bridge-France--gets-mayors-blessing.html#ixzz4vF4XdGVt

12/10/2017: Topo Terraventure Shoes: We bought a pair each of these remarkable shoes about six weeks ago. I guess we have by now worn them a few hundred kilometres including in our ascent of Mt Bartle Frere in Qld back on 1st September, and of course we have been wearing them around the farm on our steep wet slippery slopes. We have never fallen over once. These are just about the grippiest, most comfortable and certainly the lightest shoes we have ever owned. Mine weigh 290 grams and Della's were under 230 grams.

They need a good wash but are completely unmarked and have no sign of wear at all. I was a little worried about their 'flimsiness' in rough going, but they make you so light on your feet it is so much easier to put your feet where they should go, you do not hurt your feet at all. Heavy boots need all that cushioning because you have so much less control when wearing them. As a hunting shoe they are excellent because you can walk so softly and quietly in light shoes.

Probably one of the best features of these shoes for us is that they are a wide fit. Pretty much the only other shoes I can wear are Keens in a half size. These Topos are if anything even more comfortable for our wide feet than the Keens. They are particularly gentle on our feet when going downhill when you suffer the most damage to your toes in poorly fitting shoes.

These shoes have a fully welded construction such as I discuss here. In the case of these shoes it works out much better than sewn construction. So far these shoes are bulletproof. You must understand this: I have a huge box of completely unsatisfactory shoes I have bought over the years and have been able to wear approximately once. These shoes are so vastly different I extremely doubt  that you will be wasting your money on a pair. If you are in Melbourne you may be able to buy one of the Topo model shoes as I did from https://backpackinglight.com.au

We bought them from Injinji (below), whose delivery and customer relations are unsurpassed. Highly recommended. We chose shoes size exactly the same as we would have worn in Keen and they fitted perfectly. The thinner material of these shoes mean they have more give than the majority of shoes, so they are dramatically comfortable.

Specs:

'The Terraventure pushes the limits of lightweight performance and rugged durability. This platform features an aggressive lug design providing better traction and mid-foot stability. A flexible ESS forefoot rock plate protects the foot from stone-bruising while the ghillie lacing system insures a secure midfoot fit.

 The Terraventure runs true to size, so you can select your normal running shoe size.

 

 Technology/Specifications

  • // 6 mm rubber outsole
  • // 14 mm (heel) // 11 mm (ball) midsole
  • // 5 mm footbed
  • // Total stack height 25 mm x 22 mm (3 mm drop)
  • // Weight: 294g. (size 9)'

If you really ‘need’ a waterproof shoe, Topo have such a model: https://www.injinjiperformanceshop.com.au/collections/topo-athletic-footwear/products/topo-hydroventure-mens - and it only weighs275 grams (Mens US size 9)

PS: I have tried a couple of other brands of ultralight shoes, for example a pair of Inov8s which weighed less than 200 grams. They were incredibly grippy but did not give the same amount of cushioning as my Topos. They may work quite well for you but they were much too narrow for me. My feet overlapped them which caused considerable discomfort so I had to abandon them.

See Also:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-shoes/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/foot-care/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/why-you-should-get-your-feet-wet-when-hiking/

12/10/2017: Let’s put the brakes on immigration:  Is there really anyone who wants all these godawful people swamping us? Other similar natons have woken up and are throttling back, whilst we still have the foot firmly on the accelerator. Therein lies our doom: ‘Australia’s population surged by a staggering 21.5 per cent between 2003 and 2015 … According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 28 per cent of the population in 2016 was not born in Australia… the Asian-born population has eclipsed the number of residents born in Europe…When judged through the prism of the interests of existing citizens, there is no economic case that can justify the transformative changes that current policy is inflicting on Australia.’  https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2017/09/great-immigration-non-debate-australia/

12/10/2017: Every tenant in Victoria will have the right to have a pet in their rental property: ‘Unintended but likely consequence: this will allow every prospective tenant who doesn’t own or want pets to jump the queue in Melbourne’s crowded rental market.’ I would add a total collapse of the rental market to that. The lunatics are running the asylum: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/dans-for-dogs/news-story/e8ce3a1169d7f8653b8a696526ffc7eb

11/10/2017: Rusty the Dusky Lorikeet: Della:

'‘Death, that hath suck'd the honey of thy breath
Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty’ (Romeo and Juliet).

Welcome home to our Rusty, the dusky lorikeet! You were our special, devoted clown, and have earned your 'Forever Home' with us. We will never again hear your voice saying ‘I love you’ and ‘Kiss Kiss’ or your trilling imitation of the sound of water from a tap, but your beauty has been wonderfully preserved by the skillful art of Hein’s Taxidermy, Port Albert. I know that resting in peace would not have suited you, so you are back with us, watching majestically over our daily chaos.’

Hein has done a beautiful job with him. We can recommend his services if you need some skillful taxidermy done: https://www.facebook.com/Heins-Taxidermy-port-albert-1549231728642024/

He was such a wonderful companion in life though he was so fast-moving I regret we haven’t got more beautiful photographs of him. He is survived by his wife Goldy and his son, Rufus both of whom learned much of his repertoire from him. Every morning when we walk out the front door we are greeted by, ‘Hello. How are you?’ from their aviary on the verandah.

A Toast to Rusty:

Water play. You will have to imagine his cheerful water noise: ‘Diddle. Diddle Diddle.’

Celebrating the birth of his son, Rufus.

Enjoying a ‘Cupatea’ with Della.

Lord of all he surveyed.

Whispering ‘I love you’ in my ear.

Hein’s taxidermy, Port Albert.

PS: While you are in Port Albert take a walk on the Old Port Trail and enjoy some delicious fish and chips at the end of your walk: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/there-is-simply-nothing-like-an-old-port-walking-trail/

11/10/2017: Posted this day in 2012: ‘Lying abed this morn waiting for my beloved to wake, I was doing mental arithmetic: I calculated that on about 11 Dec this year she and I will have been together for 15,000 days - which is half a lifetime thereabouts and about 2/3rds of our lives so far. What did I do with the other third? I can't imagine - or how I survived it without her. Hoping to get to 3/4s of a lifetime. I suppose 4/5ths is too much to hope for, but we shall see. When she woke & I informed her of the results of my calculations her answer was, 'Is that all?' Shucks, she surely is wonderful!’ 2192 days later and nothing else has changed!

11/10/2017: Michael Smith’s private prosecution of Julia Gillard has been delayed by his receiving a vast amount of new incriminating evidence from files which were long thought ‘lost’ or destroyed. He is publishing this material bit by bit as he sifts through it. Yesterday he published evidence which implicates a judge (Murphy) as well as Gillard and Wilson. The plot thickens. She will go down, as I have long said. It is only a matter of time. And time too, you familiarized yourself with these matters. Australia is much more corrupt than any of us deserve it to be. The whole place needs a good clean-out as Michael Smith promises to begin at least: http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/

11/10/2017: It’s the sun, stupid!’ Strange how there are so many folk who vie to ignore this important advice. Imagine searching for water in the Victorian mountains and concentrating your efforts on the North-West slopes instead of the South-East ones. Anyone who has wandered around in the bush for just a little while (unless they are exceedingly dull) will surely have noticed that the areas which are most shaded are also cooler and moister. The very instant you venture outside your air-conditioned holt, the Sun is obviously what dominates the weather (particularly temperature!). How can folk have failed to notice just how much colder it is at night than in daytime - nearly 20C difference on average, or how much cooler it is in the shadiest parts of the yards than on the sunny patio? Yet such is the attraction of ‘the butterfly effect’ that folk come to believe that a minuscule quantum of their exhalation shakes the world!

11/10/2017: More than one way to think about ‘marriage equality’: ‘Membership in a culture best noted for offering oral sexual services to strangers in public lavatories entitles you to have the government invent a parody version of marriage just for you…If indulgence in vice makes you special and gives you status and privileges, why are only sodomites being so favoured?... If sodomy is worthy of federal recognition, approval, and protection, why not polygamy, bestiality, and incest? There are doubtless people in California who want group marriages and others who want to marry objects of public infrastructure and redwood trees. On what logical basis can they now possibly be denied? http://neveryetmelted.com/2013/06/27/life-in-a-nation-governed-by-15-year-old-girls/

10/10/2017: Bravo Tony. Please come back: ‘Environmentalism has managed to combine a post-socialist instinct for big government with a post-Christian nostalgia for making sacrifices in a good cause…Primitive people once killed goats to appease the volcano gods.' ‘Former prime minister Tony Abbott has told British climate change sceptics that a 'gradual lift in global temperatures' may be beneficial and likened climate scientists to the 'thought police'.’ http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2017/10/10/tony-abbott-doubles-down-on-climate-position.html

10/10/2017: Willow Kayak: This is a really neat boat: a kayak made from willow and poly tarp: http://www.shelter-systems.com/kayak.html

I am thinking one might be able to make this or a coracle with withes (other than willow) a tarp and some cable ties which I could leave in a drum at one of my hunting camps upriver so that I could float down stream if I wanted/needed to.

PS: They also have these really excellent tarp clips: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/best-tarp-clips-link/

10/10/2017: Gays have had a duplicitous and wicked agenda for a long while. I can remember back in the 90s the state sponsored newsletter ‘Outrage’ advocated having anal sex with (very) small children. I am talking infants here. I was ‘outraged’ enough to work at getting state funding to such a dreadful idea ended; if that make me a ‘homophobe’, so be it! ‘They’ did not give up though but redoubled their efforts. Mark my words, if you vote ‘Yes’ the next ‘equality’ being sought will be the ‘right’ of children to have sex, the ‘right’ of folk to marry close relatives, multiple partners, and the ‘right’ to have sex with animals. The perverse and aberrant are never-ending in the wickedness they demand as a ‘right’ PS: If it is not already illegal for me to say such things it soon will be: https://www.spectator.com.au/2017/09/tying-the-gordian-knot/ 

09/10/2017: ‘Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.’ (Shakespeare Sonnet 116) It is these ‘timeless’ values which ‘civilised society has ever been at pains to define eg in the American Declaration of Independence, viz: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’. Similarly, British society has ever striven to define the natures of ‘good’, ‘duty’, etc in the Law and in public morals. If we cast aside the history and contribution of the English speaking peoples, we abandon ourselves to the chaos of relativism, to multiculturalism at our extreme peril…( Hosea 8:7: ‘they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind’)

09/10/2017: ‘The rich get rich and the poor get poorer.’ You hear the Left intoning this pointless mantra ad nauseum, as if Redistribution was the answer, as if you could carve up the pie into ever smaller pieces until everyone gets their fair share – but after they have eaten their share, all starve. You do not ‘make the poor richer by making the rich poorer’ as Abe Lincoln was reputed to have said. You have to make a bigger pie if all are going to have a bigger slice, and next day you need to bake an even bigger pie, and so on. You have to grow the economy in order that everyone will be richer. Far from being a greedy and mercenary goal (which the pious Left may blithely and willfully disdain), this is the only way to make the world a better place. It has been happening for a few hundred years now thanks to capitalism, and it need to continue at least until all have a decent living.

08/10/2017: A Really Big ‘Whoops’ from Vostok, a really important scientific paper: ‘General CO2-lag in ice-core records and the lack of warming over the last 8000 years of extraordinary increase in CO2 show that the hypothesis of significant warming of the atmosphere by CO2 over the last century is absurd. Attribution of derivative effects (i.e. “climate change”) to CO2 is, therefore, ridiculous. These fictions, the dire prophecies that attend them and the disparagement of those that question them, however, are vigorously promoted and widely accepted. They seem to be as important socially as they are false scientifically.’ https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/10/06/news-from-vostok-ice-cores/

08/10/2017: Crazy! Remember when we used to say, Sticks and stones…’ http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/words-are-hell/news-story/7dfc693980096724a75e13c214e9b917

08/10/2017: The next ‘equality’: An interesting ‘solution’ to the ‘marriage equality’ ‘problem’: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/10/04/Woman-who-married-herself-admits-friends-found-wedding-a-bit-narcissistic

 

08/10/2017: Illegal guns #2: After Port Arthur and Howard’s gun buy back I was frequently offered illegal guns to purchase. This was because many of the guns were not destroyed by police, far from it – as I observed when I handed two old firearms in which Howard had made illegal. Some guns went into the press to be ‘destroyed. Typically police crushed either the action, or the end of the barrel (usually the latter), so one gun could later easily be made out of two. The fact that some actions were not being crushed on the day filled me with some dismay, I can assure you. I observed some however were taken immediately to a back room without any damage. Not long after (as I said) I was offered a list of over one hundred illegal guns by a bent policeman (a distant acquaintance), an offer which I did not take up as I would never trust such a person. If you are going to buy an illegal firearm, trust maybe ‘honest’ criminals, but bent cops? You have to be kidding. Around the time I saw nothing odd about someone who simply wished to continue to own a type of firearm which they had owned most of their lives and which they had bought legally prior to there being any permits required. To my memory the 1970s are not so long ago when you could buy a semi-automatic rifle from Kmart! Since then there has been a huge increase in the importation and trade in illegal firearms, particularly pistols. There has also (much more worryingly) been a huge importation of undesirable people! More than any other thing, it is these people who are the problem. You could (unlikely) rid society of every gun, yet these people would still be an immense (and increasing) danger. There are lots of other means of killing people and causing vast destruction other than guns. We need immediately to begin ridding our society of such people. There are plenty of simply awful countries where they can be sent!

07/10/2017: Turnbull is all gas: In just the last week we have had his idiotic gas deal which steals already contracted gas from foreign customers (causing who knows what harm to our foreign trade and investment prospects) instead of biting the bullet, utilising the foreign affairs powers in the constitution (as Hawke did over Gordon below Franklin) and taking over the regulation of gas mining and electricity production eg Restart Hazelwood before this summer’s blackouts hit the East Coast. Now we have his bizarre ID idea which would not work anyway and does not include banning the burka! This oaf must go before Xmas and be replaced by someone who will save Australia and who is electable! A Shorten/Green government is unthinkable!

07/10/2017: JC would have made a lousy businessman: Matthew 20:1-16 The nonsense folk believe in!

 

20:1 "For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.

 

20:2 After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard.

 

20:3 When he went out about nine o'clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace;

 

20:4 and he said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.' So they went.

 

20:5 When he went out again about noon and about three o'clock, he did the same.

 

20:6 And about five o'clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, 'Why are you standing here idle all day?'

 

20:7 They said to him, 'Because no one has hired us.' He said to them, 'You also go into the vineyard.'

 

20:8 When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, 'Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.'

 

20:9 When those hired about five o'clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage.

 

20:10 Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage.

 

20:11 And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner,

 

20:12 saying, 'These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.'

 

20:13 But he replied to one of them, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?

 

20:14 Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you.

 

20:15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?'

 

20:16 So the last will be first, and the first will be last."

07/10/2017: Back from the dead? If so, big news surely? A couple of days ago the Las Vegas monster had murdered 59 people. By today it was 58! Are there just so many murders in Las Vegas in a ‘normal’ day that it is hard to keep count? Or were two of the victims both named ‘John Smith’? Or was one of them named Jesus Christ? We have to know the answers to these baffling questions. Where is the media when you need it most?

07/10/2017: On average, there is mass killing bigger than Vegas in Chicago each month. Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the US; there are no gun stores in Chicago, yet: ‘There were 762 murders in Chicago in 2016, the most in 19 years.  On average, there was mass killing – by different perps – that adds up bigger than the Las Vegas massacre each month. http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/10/on_average_there_is_mass_killing_bigger_than_vegas_in_chicago_each_month_.html#ixzz4ucEZqIXh  

06/10/2017: 1000th Post: This is quite a milestone here at http://www.theultralighthiker.com/. I never imagined when I started this blog just over two years ago that I would be so loquacious, but there you go! There are over 5,000 pages about hiking and hunting etc here now for (I hope) your enjoyment!

When I wrote my 900th post back in May I was just back from my walk on the fabulous Dusky Track in Fiordland, New Zealand http://www.theultralighthiker.com/from-dawn-to-dusky/, something which you must put on your ‘bucket list’ – and don’t wait until you are well over 50 before you do it for the first time as I did, as I don’t doubt you will want to repeat the experience as I have (at just under 70!)

 Most of the things which I planned to do since then have not been finished, but a number of others have been begun or achieved. Such is the nature of making plans really. For example, I have not completed the final version of my Deer Hunter’s Tent (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-deer-hunters-tent/ ) yet, but I was working on it yesterday and have calculated its final ‘roof’ weight at 200 grams material only in silnylon (100 in cuben!) – which is outstanding for a two person tent!

I am sure it will be complete before the end of the year, as will my final version of my Mini-Decagon tent which is probably a three person tent (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/come-with-old-khayyam/). I only have a bit over an hour’s work to go on it really, so you can expect a post about it soon. I am pleased that the roof section weighs 375 grams!

However, I have pretty much completed my Pocket Poncho Tent which (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-pocket-poncho-tent/) came in at 185 grams in silnylon. I have a little more work to do on the hood and on the storm flap. I also have an idea for converting it into a two person tent. I hope to finish the Bathtub Groundsheet Chair (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/bathtub-groundsheet-chair/) for it  (and the Mini decagon) in the near future and to make them available to be purchased.

I think my Fire Umbrella should be a useful addition to dry, warm  stress-free camping: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/fire-umbrella/

We have had a few ‘adventures’ in the meantime, including some hunting trips eg http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-wild-river-stag/, http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-spot-of-solitude/ & http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-silence-of-the-deer/

And some interesting walks, eg: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/east-tyers-walking-track/, http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-walk-on-the-wild-side/http://www.theultralighthiker.com/on-the-tip-of-the-tongue-2/, http://www.theultralighthiker.com/avon-river-walking-track/, http://www.theultralighthiker.com/you-can-do-it/ - a journey up Qld’s highest mountain, Mt Bartle Frere.

I have come up with some fishing ideas (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hand-line-fly-fishing/ & http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-ultralight-fisherman/), and some fine recipes, such as: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-coconut-fish-curry/ & http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-simple-backpacking-dahl/.

As usual there have been some good survival ideas and practical advice: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/raincoat-shelter/,  http://www.theultralighthiker.com/man-is-the-measure-of-all-things-pythagoras-some-handy-estimation-tricks/, http://www.theultralighthiker.com/naismiths-rule/,  http://www.theultralighthiker.com/weather-lore/, http://www.theultralighthiker.com/follow-your-nose/, http://www.theultralighthiker.com/how-long-till-sundown/,  http://www.theultralighthiker.com/walking-the-line/ & http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-lie-of-the-land/.

And heaps of ideas for ultralight gear and reviews, such as: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/best-hunting-daypack/, http://www.theultralighthiker.com/big-agnes-axl-air-pad/, http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-shoes/, http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultimate-blades-for-the-ultralight-hunter/http://www.theultralighthiker.com/black-diamond-storm-waterproof-headlamp/, http://www.theultralighthiker.com/lighter-brighter-better/, http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hunting-thumbtack-reflectors/

I put all my food idea into a single post: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-hiking-food-compendium/ and my gear ‘inventions' in a similar one: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/60-diy-ultralight-hiker-ideas/

Around the farm we have made some progress. The bottom dam is fixed, and the new pump house is up and working but still needs some finishing off. We have nearly a kilometer of new vermin-proof fence (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/vermin-proof-fence/) along our Northern boundary which is keeping a veritable plague of eastern grey kangaroos and common wombats at bay. Our neighbours are close to not being able to run any livestock at all due to the depredations of these ubiquitous pests. We have planted a lot of new trees and hope that there will be better than a hundred new ones growing before the end of the spring planting season. As usual we have concentrated solely on the useful and the beautiful. There will be plenty more food here for native birds, possums etc in the future though few of the trees we plant are themselves natives. We hope to complete the renewal of the boundary fence with fox-proof fencing over the next two years as we are tired of seeing our lambs go down the ravenous gullets of these vulpine marauders.

Over the next 100 posts I hope to be able to report on a canoe trip down the Wonnangatta from the Humffray to the Kingwell Bridge, and perhaps further down (when it becomes the Mitchell) from Angusvale down. I also hope to complete the section on the Latrobe I talked about from Noojee to Willow Grove. We hope to try a section of the Alps walking track and some walks in Wilsons Prom - and it goes on...

06/10/2017: Sewn-free construction: Or welded fabric construction. My new shoes, the Topo Terraventure are made this way, and let me say they are excellent. There is not a seam in them to come undone or fray. I have only recently learned that this method of construction is in fact readily available to the hobbyist, though it will be a little more difficult for most projects to get a good finish as compared with the trusty sewing machine.

This excellent video explains: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ne2J01h1tZ0&spfreload=10

The tape makes it very easy to do. It is double sided, so you just pull off the backing and stick it to one side of the material to be joined, then you pull off the other backing and lay the other piece of material in place. T The tape is mildly sticky both sides to allow this to be done, but it can be repositioned. Then you position the teflon sheet over the section to be welded (to prevent harming the material), get the iron up to the right temperature, then press firmly as you iron, and Voila! You have fully welded seam.

This would be a very good method for people to use who want to eg make one of my Tyvek tents but don't have a sewing machine.

You need three things: a Custom Sealing Iron,Teflon Ironing Sheets and E-Z Steam 2 Tape.

I have ordered all three. I have a number of projects in mind which I had long ago conceived but did not have the ability to make, for example my inflatable ground sheet, inflatable mylar quilt and mylar vest. (I was minded to try contact adhesive (messy and perhaps not air/watertight) but I had put them in abeyance. Now I will be having a crack at them, so you can expect to see some posts soonish...

06/10/2017: ‘His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork’ - Mae West

06/10/2017: Illegal guns: A few years’ ago out hunting a friend brought along his new (legal) Glock pistol to show me. It had cost him over $2,000 not including the necessary licences, memberships etc. What a beauty it was! And, naturally we all had a shot with it! At about the same time I was offered the identical pistol in a Melbourne bar for way less than a quarter of that - and with no annoying licences, storage requirements, etc. I would imagine it could take me perhaps an hour (in Melbourne) and $500 to buy an illegal automatic pistol…

 

06/10/2017: There you go puss: https://twitter.com/sfiGesreveR/status/914574887381061633

 

05/10/2017:

 

05/10/2017: More ‘Big Brother’: Whenever there is a terrible mass murder such as Port Arthur or Las Vegas, governments use it as an excuse to further restrict our freedoms and increase government control. Actually this does not make me feel safer – as I recollect that the greatest mass murderers by far have been and are governments themselves. If you leave religious fanatics aside, such individuals perpetrators are really quite rare and account for very few deaths compared with the 100 million plus that I can easily tally up to governments in the C20th alone! I strongly suspect that our government already had quite enough powers to protect us before Port Arthur even yet failed to do so, as the head of MI6 said at the time. Their immigration and population (quality) policies have for many years worked together to create the situation where we are less safe. Personally I would rather see firearms in private hands so that the public can protect itself from others and government than in government hands so that it can impose tyranny on the people or murder them truly en masse as has occurred so many times eg in the C20th – Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot spring immediately to mind. These are the folk who needed to be ‘identified’ and ‘controlled’, not the ordinary man or woman in the street. I remember warning that drivers’ licence photos were being prepared for just such a purpose when they began to put the patterning on them (over twenty years ago). Soon there will be no way the citizen can possibly escape the clutches of government. Personally I do not trust government that much. I am all for just punishing the bad and leaving the good alone. http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2017/10/05/anti-terror-tactics-on-coag-agenda.html

 

04/10/2017: Trail Pea and Ham Soup: I am always thinking about ways to avoid depending on simple carbs on the trail (and get some veggies in there) yet have recipes which can be made up from products readily available in supermarkets such as you might be able to put together eg into snap-lock bags at resupply points. This one uses just four ingredients:

 

To a litre of water add:

I x 40 gram packet Contintental Spring vegetable Simmer Soup 460 kj (112 calories)

1 x 100 gram packet Continental Surprise Peas 1200 kj (288 calories)

Approx 42 grams Hormel Real Bacon Pieces 656 KJ (157 calories)

Approx 8 Teaspoons Continental Deb Mashed Potato (for thickening at the end) 133 kj (32 calories)

 

Total 2449 kj (589 calories)

 

Bring the first four above to the boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes then add enough mashed potato to thicken.

 

If you have access to a food processor you may be able to smash up the peas a little which will make them cook more quickly and make the soup thicker, otherwise cook longer and smash them up with your spoon in the pot when they are cooked.

 

Remark: This makes a surprisingly tasty faux pea and ham soup, and a welcome change from pasta dishes! I made it just for a side dish for my main meal last night, so I had all this left over for Della to try when she comes back from her craft conference on Saturday.

 

 

04/10/2017: ‘Paddock calls’ – you remember your Macbeth? The Las Vegas one was a very sinister and evil ‘spirit’, who clearly wished, like Macbeth (they all do) he could take the whole world down with him:

 

Arm, arm, and out!—

If this which he avouches does appear,

There is nor flying hence nor tarrying here.

I 'gin to be aweary of the sun,

And wish th' estate o' th' world were now undone.—

Ring the alarum-bell!—Blow, wind! Come, wrack!

At least we’ll die with harness on our back.’

 

I wonder what ever can be done about that awful mentality. Some have argued that the gun laws are at fault, not the man. The right to bear arms was abolished in Australia around about WW1; before that you certainly were allowed to carry a firearm for personal protection. Our murder rate and attacks on the person have increased astronomically since then by the way (2,000+%!).

 

However, having the stricter firearms laws we have in Australia would not prevent something like Los Vegas (maybe nothing would). People can still get hold of such weapons illegally, or make their own. Also, they could kill even more people in some other way if they were wicked enough to want to do so. This 'Macbeth' mentality is very difficult to understand.

 

Mind you, most people murdered by firearms in the world are killed by police or the armed forces. Preventing citizens from defending themselves against the Government is deemed an important right in America - indeed that's why they have that right. We have no such right here, no protection at all really from a wicked government - I only hope we never get one like the murderous Hitler regime, for example. Unfortunately, I see our country heading in that direction (towards fascism). The attacks on free speech (coming from all directions) and the ever irncreasing laws and regulations are symptomatic.

 

I notice Isis has claimed responsibility for this dreadful crime. This has been (too) quickly dismissed. The alleged perpetrator’s family can offer no help as to what might have motivated him. This would be no different even if they were all rampant Moslem jihadis anyway. It seems likely to me that he has been radicalized - as Isis claims. He has apparent;ly ben ‘missing’ for about three months. The Phillipines connection, and the Isis presence there are worrying. He also seems to have had rather more ‘ordinance’ in his room (and home) for the single shooter/’lone wolf’ scenario to ring true. A lot of stuff for one man to lug up 32 floors without anyone noticing or caring. (Don’t they have maids and cleaners in Las Vegas?)

 

A ‘cowardly attack’ Theresa May describes it. Why? – because of his willingness to strike the innocent at a distance? This from a woman who commands the third largest collection of nuclear weapons on the planet, whose very existence is based on no other morality than that! I fear potential emulators (and they exist) will not view his actions, particularly his disregard for his own life as cowardly. As Macbeth said,

 

‘Nothing in his life

Became him like the leaving it. He died

As one that had been studied in his death

To throw away the dearest thing he owed

As ’twere a careless trifle.’

 

A truly terrifying event, but probably not the last, alas!

04/10/2017: "For...ten years, false doctrines...nurtured the illusions of the working classes. They are...convinced that the state is obliged to provide bread, work, and education to all. The...government has...promise(d) to do so; it will...be obliged to increase taxes...to keep this promise, and in spite of this it will not keep it...How much disillusionment is in store...It would have been so simple and so just to ease their burden by decreasing taxes...they cannot see that (it) consists in taking away ten to give back eight, not to mention the true freedom that will be destroyed". Bastiat 1848

02/10/2017: Gillard will go down: Seems like Julia did not manage to have all the evidence against her destroyed. A whole new file has just emerged which will confirm some of her crimes. It will be interesting to see how Michael’s private prosecution goes. The TURC really should have gone in much harder against her and Wilson. Still, much of this stuff will come out also at Blewitt’s trial which is already timetabled: http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/

02/10/2017: Ultralight Shorts: 28 grams: This is probably a problem all of us have faced at some time - what to wear when needing to wash our trail clothes (or go for a swim when there are others around). At just 28 grams, Luke Stegner has come up with a solution, his ultralight laundry Shorts at US$ 34.99 (Oct 2017)

He also has a lot of other interesting ultralight gear, including practically the lightest raincoat around. Check out his website:

https://lukesultralite.com/thru-hiker-laundry-shorts

See Also: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-pants/ at 75 grams

02/10/2017: Just love the Coyote: The Conservatism of Progressives: ‘In fact, here is a sure fire test for a progressive.  If given a choice between two worlds: A capitalist society where the overall levels of wealth and technology continue to increase, though in a pattern that is dynamic, chaotic, generally unpredictable, and whose rewards are unevenly distributed, or...A "progressive" society where everyone is poorer, but income is generally more evenly distributed.  In this society, jobs and pay and industries change only very slowly, and people have good assurances that they will continue to have what they have today, with little downside but also with very little upside. Progressives will choose #2.  Even if it means everyone is poorer.’ http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2017/09/the-conservatism-of-progressives.html

02/10/2017: I used to like women, but I dunno any more: PS: I must say the gender disparity currently at Uni (60:40) is awfully disquieting. Seems to me like more and more talented men (who ought to become brain surgeons or nuclear physicists) will just go into the trades from where they will be able to charge female (arts) graduates vast fees for changing their tap washers: https://www.spectator.com.au/2017/09/bad-sex/

02/10/2017: You want this? https://www.weaselzippers.us/357813-mohammed-top-baby-name-in-uk-for-fifth-straight-year/

01/10/2017: I’m afraid I am just as worried as Matt Ridley, yet we have both been long known for our optimism. A pall of intellectual darkness looms over all. Perhaps the worst thing to fear from the success of the ‘Yes’ campaign is that speech itself will be a victim. We will no longer be able to espouse our moral points of view on a wide variety of topics, or to disagree with the views of others. As the Antifa indicates, our fate may eventually become that of Hipatia: http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/endarkenment/

01/10/2017: Mugshot of the month winner: http://kaching.tumblr.com/post/165270673923/geordie-viking-antifa-mugshot-portland

 

01/10/2017: Remember ‘Crooked Hillary’? Pocketed $172 million in just one year; nice work if you can get it: http://maggiesfarm.anotherdotcom.com/archives/30581-How-the-crooked-Clinton-Foundation-worked.html

 

30/09/2017: Truly Horrifying: France to Have Muslim Majority in 40 Years ‘Combine massive Islamic immigration with the destruction of the family brought about by feminism, degeneracy, perversion, abortion, and the welfare state, wait a few decades, et voilà: no more France…even in the extremely unlikely event that Muslim immigration is shut off completely and immediately, Western Europe is likely to draw its last breaths within the lives of people living today’: http://moonbattery.com/?p=88303

 

30/09/2017: The Quality of Evidence (and of the Judiciary): The odd case of Cathy Kezelman (and others) causes me great disquiet. The victimhood ‘industry’ is unfortunately replete with people whose memories/narratives are questionable, as in the case against Pell or the strange story behind Sally Morgan’s ‘My Place’. This is not the only Royal Commission to be diverted into such spurious imaginings: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/why-has-the-royal-commission-promoted-this-victim/news-story/487c6deef521a0cf59f64c1050f3d151 PS: For a critique of ‘My Place’ read: https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/history-wars/2010/05/my-place-fabricating-family-history/

 

30/09/2017: Bastiat was just wonderful, eg: ‘Whatever you do, sirs, you can give money to some only by taking it from others.  If you genuinely wish to drain taxpayers dry, go ahead, but at least do not mock them and say to them, ‘I am taking from you to compensate you for what I have already taken from you.’’ http://www.libertylawsite.org/2017/09/14/bastiat-common-sense-personified/

 

29/09/2017: Something you’ve always wanted to know: Where did syphilis come from: http://archive.archaeology.org/9701/newsbriefs/syphilis.html

 

29/09/2017: Who’d have thought: ‘The present day warm period is 1 to 2° C cooler than the past four interglacial periods’. So, when is the next ice age: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/09/21/climate-model-projections-significantly-diverge-from-paleoclimate-analogs/

 

29/09/2017: Listen to the oldest melody in the world — 3400 years old. ‘The hymn was discovered on a clay tablet in Ugarit, now part of modern-day Syria, and is dedicated the Hurrians’ goddess of the orchards Nikkal...The clay tablet text, which was discovered alongside around 30 other tablet fragments, specifies 9 lyre strings and the intervals between those strings – kind of like an ancient guitar tab..... The notation here is essentially a set of instructions for intervals and tuning based around a heptatonic diatonic scale’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx6v0t5I5SM

 

27/09/2017: We need to end this ‘renewables’ baloney now before we completely destroy our country: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/09/rooftop-solar-destroying-baseload-profitability-and-proud-of-it/ & https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/09/24/reasons-for-optimism-about-climate-hysteria/

 

27/09/2017: Meanwhile remember Bill Clinton Threatened North Korea in 1994: ‘if they ever used nukes, “it would be the end of their country’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C99MiS4uczU

 

27/09/2017: What a treasure: http://www.openculture.com/2017/08/hear-debussy-play-debussy-a-vintage-recording-from-1913.html

25/09/2017: A great ad in today’s Australian:

25/09/2017: Probably the best political essay about the best political speech of the year, perhaps the decade: https://amgreatness.com/2017/09/19/trumps-un-speech-triumph/

25/09/2017: Remember, it started as a referendum: To pass a referendum, the bill must ordinarily achieve a double majority: a majority of those voting nationwide, as well as separate majorities in a majority of states (i.e., 4 out of 6 states). In circumstances where a state is affected by a referendum, a majority of voters in that state must also agree to the change. This is often referred to as a ‘triple majority’. Will these ‘normal’ rules apply to the gay marriage postal vote – as citizens would normally expect?

25/09/2017: Leftist Groupthink. This doesn’t surprise me at all. So many people can be read like a book (only quicker!). Unfortunately as soon as they open their mouths to say one thing, I know everything else they think – which essentially makes them very boring to be around. Maybe that’s why I prefer conservatives and eccentrics of all sorts. Leftists and ‘progressives’ just all seem to have been made in exactly the same mould: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1948550617729410?journalCode=sppa&

24/09/2017: The Isthmus: We spent the afternoon poking around on the Wilsons Prom Isthmus, an area easily ignored as you roar down from Foster to the National Park, but in many ways it is scenically superior to the park itself. We had time only to drive down four roads to the sea, and take a peek: Foster Beach Road (off Lower Franklin Road) Foster, Charles Hall Road (off Black Swamp Road) Yanakie, Shelcotts Road Yanakie and Hourigan Camp Lane (off Millars Road) Yanakie. As you know I am working towards a Great Gippsland Circuit (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-great-gippsland-circuit/) that will walk along the entire Gippsland Coast from Phillip Island to Eden then return to Melbourne along the Alps Walking Track. Today we were checking out just a small part of that.

A view from Foster Beach towards Wilsons Prom across Corner Inlet

Red Billed Shearwaters amongst the mangroves Foster Beach 

 

Mangroves Foster Beach looking across to the Yanakie Isthmus

Mangrove crab Foster Beach

Mangroves Foster Beach looking towards Wilsons Prom

Charles Hall Road looking towards Doughboy Island. Wilsons Prom in the background.

Charles Hall Road looking towards Foster

A close up of the above - so easy and pleasant walking along most of Corner Inlet particularly at low tide.

Shelcotts Road looking towards Charles Hall Road and Foster. The good walking continues

Shellcotts Road looking past Red Bluffs towards the Prom. At low tide at least you can easily walk past Red Bluff Road at least as far as Foleys Road

Close up of the above. Red Bluffs centre.

Shelcotts Road: shags on a rock, Doughboy Island and the Prom in the background.

Della beachcombing Hourigans Camp Lane looking back up Shallow Inlet towards Lester Road camping grounds. There is a creek to cross before you get there. it would have to be swum.

There are plenty of spots you can do a bit of beach camping along here, as someone has near the stream below. You can also easily walk from here along the beach all the way to the Darby River.

This is the view towards the Shallow Inlet entrance. There is plenty of firewood here.

Close up of the same view. Wilsons Prom in the background. There are many freshwater streams such as this one. Perhaps filter the water with your Sawyer Mini filter as there is run-off from paddocks containing stock such as sheep. Mind you, I never have.

A gull enjoys the sunset

Until Spot scares him off

Leaving the sunset over Shallow Inlet for us alone to enjoy

I think there will be some places on this long walk where a packraft such as the Klymit LWD (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/klymit-packraft/) will be needed, eg for crossing Shallow Inlet. The same apples at Andersons Inlet (Inverloch), Hollands landing, Mueller River & etc. You would walk around the point and back along the inshore of the inlet about 2 km then paddle the couple of hundred metres across at lowish tide on the downstream side of Fisherman's creek. Don't cross near the inlet as you could be swept out to sea! Then you can walk all the way to the Darby River. the crossing around can be avoided by a long but pleasant walk along quiet country roads: Waratah Road, Soldiers Road, Daveys Road, Meeniyan-Prom Rd, Millars Road, Hourigan Camp Lane. A packraft would also help where there is some difficulty walking along the shore (eg where there are mangroves, or at high tide). With a packraft I think you could journey all along the inside of Corner Inlet from Millars Landing to Port Franklin.

See Also: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/advanced-elements-ultralight-paddle/

24/09/2017: Unsung hero: https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2017/09/peter-ryans-patrol/

 

24/09/2017: Capitalism is the greatest force for good the world has ever seen: http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2017/09/wealth-is-the-new-normal.html

 

23/09/2017: Ultralight Windscreen: And, here is the titanium windscreen to go with your esbit stove http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-esbit-stove/ – or maybe your egg-ring stove (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-egg-ring-ultralight-wood-burner-stove/) and your ultralight cookpot (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-cookpot/) to complete your ultralight cookset. Weight: 0.5oz  (14g) Dimensions: 22 7/8" (580mm) x 4 3/4" (120mm) https://www.toaksoutdoor.com/products/wsc US$10.95 (September 2017) You might also be interested in this product 1.5 gram to prevent you burning your lip: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hot-lips/

Cookpot 39 grams, Esbit stove 11.5 grams, windscreen much less than (you would cut it down) 14 grams = total weight < 64.5, or say 60 grams! Not a lot of weight for a warm meal or a cuppa in the wilds.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1449/7578/products/WSC-01-01_1024x1024.jpg?v=1479715064

See Also:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-esbit-stove/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-egg-ring-ultralight-wood-burner-stove/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-cookpot/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hot-lips/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-windscreen/

23/09/2017: No doubt many of you have seen footage of the interview with the low-life (Mr Astro Labe) who head-butted our last PM? The streets are crawling with such scum. Something must be done. This has been going on for 25 years now. It has to stop. ‘More than one in five working-age males are out of work, with a work-to-population ratio of just 79 per cent among men between 20 and 54, according the most recently-available census data. This is a sharp drop from a rate of over 96 per cent in the 1950s.’ In Tasmania (where our toothless aggressor hales from) it is even worse. During the same period the percentage of working age women in work continued to increase: https://ipa.org.au/publications-ipa/media-releases/australias-silent-crisis-male-employment

23/09/2017: Just one of the awful places we are going with this (Sorry about the spelling):

https://scontent-syd2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/21751780_907910616029817_77628944570403589_n.jpg?oh=c8b86d1fdfae645e3536c2a264f24437&oe=5A3AC7AE

 

23/09/2017: Ban on 2-stroke engines is sexist. Four strokes are much heavier, and therefore harder for women to manage. Della loves her old 125cc Victa I bought her for her 23rd birthday, and her Husqvarna brushcutter. I will have to get in quick and buy her new ones as she won’t be able to manage the new green mandated four stroke ones. What is wrong with this government? Conservatives need to distance themselves from this leftist groupthink: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/silence-of-the-strokers/news-story/7758370473a41f5fc4792f1af8a8fcb9

23/09/2017: The BOM just get worse and worse. The stations which they use to ‘establish’ their absurd records are clearly broken, but they don’t bother to fix them. I mean 0C Maximum in the Pilbara! They didn’t spot that, but still used this station’s data to record the warmest event ever! https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/09/21/welcome-to-australia-where-its-always-warmer-somewhere/

23/09/2017: Whitlam: For all the romanticism, he and his colleagues were a bunch of crooks whom I am ashamed to once have admired. Their heirs are if anything even worse: http://pickeringpost.com/story/a-murphy-malady-is-not-a-nice-tune/7580

22/09/2017: Ultralight Esbit Stove: In case you want an ultralight stove (including pot stand) to go with your ultralight pot (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-cookpot/) you should try this mini titanium esbit stove which weighs a mere 11.5 grams. Esbit is the gram cracker’s fuel of choice containing more BTUs per gram than any other fuel (and needing no container). It also makes a great fire starter. It burns at approx 1300C, but it is a little slow. A windscreen is a good idea. Available eg here: http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/esbit_stove.shtml or https://www.amazon.com/Esbit-Ultralight-Folding-Titanium-Tablets/dp/B002AQET2C From US$11.64 (September 2017)

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http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61DD9Rf3s%2BL._SL1500_.jpg

22/09/2017: The Antifa: Progressives and the Left generally are ever so keen to resort to bullying and violence, demonstrating that they are exactly what they claim to oppose, ie the true fascists http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/abbott-attacked/news-story/33a636dae86bec109c962c25ed6b2175 . The ‘gay rights’ one who just head-butted Tony Abbott is a case in point, and demonstrates just what delights are still to come if the ‘yes’ vote wins. Some more fine examples here: http://pickeringpost.com/story/time-for-a-short-intelligence-test-/7581 PS: There has to be a ‘new’ part of speech for this phenomenon: ie words that mean exactly the opposite of what they state. We are getting more and more examples of this. (I know it might have started with the ‘Progressive Party’ being a Luddite party or the ‘Liberal Party’ being a conservative party & etc.

 

22/09/2017: Who would have thought the state of our climate ‘knowledge’ was so poor – far too poor for us to tbe taking any ‘action’ anyway: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/09/16/climate-models-cant-even-approximate-reality-because-atmospheric-structure-and-movements-are-virtually-unknown/ And that climate alarmists would admit they were wrong all along: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/09/19/delingpole-climate-alarmists-finally-admit-we-were-wrong-about-global-warming/ Why oh why did we have to waste countless billions on such nonsense to the extent that now we no longer have a reliable energy system or any manufacturing industry?

 

22/09/2017: So, you were worried you were (becoming) a tad ‘racist’? You were in good company: http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/09/14/global-study-more-people-say-immigration-negative-biggest-change-sweden/

 

22/09/2017: A great recommendation from the Coyote: http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2017/09/the-teaching-company-also-known-as-great-courses.html

21/09/2017: MLD Supermid: We have owned this excellent large tent for quite a few years now. We bought it for our cross-Tasmania walk in 2011 (See: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/south-west-track-tasmania/ & http://www.theultralighthiker.com/tasmanias-south-coast-track-hells-holiday/) way down in the Roaring 40s, the often awful conditions of wind and rain of which it stood up to admirably. We needed a three person (plus lots of gear) tent for that trip which it was more than roomy enough for. The tent is 9’ x 9’ and over 6’ high at the centre. We could have squeezed another very good friend in too, if pressed.

  Here we are with it at Freeney Lagoon on Cox’s Bight, enjoying a cuppa:

And at the Louisa River just before crossing the formidable Ironbound Range:

In the photo above you will notice Della is wearing a pair of MLD waterproof chaps (https://mountainlaureldesigns.com/product/rain-chaps/) which weigh a mere 65 grams. We also carried (and used) MLD ultralight gaiters and event mittens (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-mitts-and-gaiters/) which we also highly recommend: 

I double-waterproofed the floor using this method (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/waterproofing-tent-floors-and-ground-sheets/), which worked well, but was probably overkill. (It also no doubt added some additional weight). We also carried a lot more pegs and tie-outs than you would normally ever need, but winds down there are only too often hurricane force and can flatten a tent or blow it clean away!

Even in terrifying wind and torrential rain the tent never looked like letting us down. Erin McKittrick & Bretwood Higman (http://groundtruthtrekking.org/) used this tent on their 4,000 mile journey along the Pacidfiic rim from Seattle to the Bering Sea, so it can really take some punishment. Our tent is the silnylon model. It tent weighed 740 grams bare, and the floor 340 grams, not bad for such a huge tent which you can stand up in – even dance if the occasion so takes you! We used two Gossamer Gear trekking poles as the centre pole.

Here are some of its specs:

  • 70+ sq/ft of usable floor space perfect for four or a palace for two or three
    • ONE oversized peak vent design is best: pitch the rear of the SuperMid into the wind to prevent rain and snow from blowing into the vent and to create a mini Venturi Effect, pulling condensation out the oversize vent on the downwind side
    • Oversized peak vent that can be easily closed during hard wind, blowing rain, and snow, by pulling out the wand and Velcro-ing the vent tightly shut
    • Plenty of room to stand up
    • Side walls shed snow well
    • Main seams are triple rolled, stitched, and flat felled (an MLD Exclusive.)
    • Interior Apex hang loop
    • Apex/Peak reinforced with Dyneema X
    • 2 Doors: Both doors roll open and tie back
    • Mid-height zipper door snaps allow doors to be partially opened
    • A total of 17 tie-outs!
    • 8 ground level perimeter tie-outs with LineLocks for easy adjustment: LineLocks make cold weather and winter use (buried snow anchors) MUCH easier. LineLocks can be removed to save about 1.0 oz
    • Extra center side panel tie-outs on all sides for really high winds.
    • Use a short length of guyline to tie two trek poles together for center pole support

And the floor’s:

  • Waterproof Pro SilNylon and Cuben Fiber- Very High Hydrostatic Rating
    • Cuben Version is made with Ultimate Lightweight .75 oz Cuben Fiber
    • 5 in | 12.7 cm bathtub walls
    • Corner Struts keep the floor upright and tight
    • Center Pole Floor Reinforcement of Dyneema X (Silnylon Version) or Thick Cuben Fiber (Cuben Version) on Duo + Super Floors
    • Extra center tie-outs on the long sides
    • Same size as the floors of the Pyramid InnerNets
    • Use four separate stakes, or use the supplied 3/32″ bungee cord to connect to the Pyramids corner tie-outs or to the same stakes as your Mid Pyramid Shelter
    • SILNYLON VERSION: Use SilNet silicone seam sealer on the inside corner seams and on any floor stitching for maximum waterproofness
    •CUBEN VERSION: is seam taped and does not need any additional seam sealing

Such a large tent makes an excellent base camp in cold, wet weather such as you are likely to encounter in Southern Tasmania or Fiordland New Zealand. It is bigger than Della and I need just for the two of us though. It is more of an expedition tent, good to carry amongst a party of 3-4. You could try some of MLD’s smaller tents such as the Solomid (https://mountainlaureldesigns.com/product/solomid-xl/) or Duomid (https://mountainlaureldesigns.com/product/duomid/) if you are venturing alone into the wilderness or with just your partner.

21/09/2017: Six years ago today Claude Choules passed into history. Lest we forget. Our Govt should have made a fuss too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Choules . Our (and the world's) last soldier of WW1 &WW2

21/09/2017: Abbott has promised to cross the floor on ‘renewables’ and to build Hazelwood #2. I’m sure the majority of Australians are with him on this. I am sick and tired of paying through the nose for a dribble of electricity and having my lifestyle threatened at every step by yet another green tyranny. Bring back Tony: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/09/abbott-vows-to-cross-the-floor-against-any-new-renewables-subsidies-most-of-parliament-should-be-with-him/ & http://www.skynews.com.au/video/program/program_featured/2017/09/19/-let-s-build-hazelwood-2-0---tony-abbott.html

21/09/2017: Personally I am not so interested in ‘equality’ as protecting women and children against such monsters as these, eg by shortening the latter by a head: http://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/rapists-adrian-attwater-and-paul-maris-had-long-history-of-violence-avos-and-drug-related-crimes/news-story/bdce534ca05d8a6ae8503d85ff4ebed3

 

21/09/2017: The way ahead? ESL students learn new gender pronouns: http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2017/09/english-2nd-language-students-learn-new-gender-pro-nouns-youre-not-learning-english-to-be-a-bigot-ar.html Forget ‘he’ and ‘she’. They should be banned right now!

20/09/2017: Best Hunting Daypack: If your day or overnight hunting pack weighs more than 400 grams you are carrying too much. The pack below is a great option (in Wasabi Green would be my choice). Remember this: every unnecessary gram you carry makes it just that much harder to make your footfalls quiet. It would make a really great weekend hiking pack too.

If you really want to have your quarry hear you clomping around from a couple of hundred metres away, go ahead: wear those immense waterproof (what?) ‘hunting’ boots (which almost certainly weigh over a kilogram each wet – you thought you could have dry feet hunting? Get real!) instead of something really light and comfy such as Topo’s Terraventure at 290 grams (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-shoes/), a shoe which you can float over the ground in without ever breaking a single twig!

Being able to hunt energetically (and inconspicuously – no, I don’t mean wearing camo: that is unfair chase) begins at your feet and continues on to your pack and the contents of your pack. I imagine I could swap your current pack for the above one, include a sleeping bag (600 grams), mat (230 grams), shelter (250 grams) and cookset (100 grams) and have all these items weigh no more than your current pack does empty (1550 grams)! Am I right? This means you can plan to stay out overnight – which is what you really need to do if you are going to take advantage of twilight’s best hunting opportunities!

I have bought a number of items from Ron at Mountain Laurel Designs over the years. They have all been extremely intelligently thought out, very carefully and expertly made (by him) and enormously functional. This pack will be no different. The fact that it will sit right in the small of your back will also make it the most comfy pack you have ever worn too I don’t doubt.

Check it out here: https://mountainlaureldesigns.com/product/burn-38l/

‘WEIGHT: 13 oz | 370 gm

CAPACITY: 38L | 2300 CI

LOAD RANGE: 16 – 20 lbs | 7 -9 kg

FEATURES

  • NEW FOR 2017: Curved Side Panels: A slight curve from the waist to the shoulders moves the load closer to the upper back for more comfort. This also creates a slightly larger main compartment higher in the pack that helps load control by moving the heavier and higher packed gear higher to reduces shoulder stress.
  • S-shaped unisex comfort shoulder straps are 2.5″ wide X 0.8″ thick and are SuperWick mesh lined with full-length highest quality 1/2″ thick EVA foam padding. Our shoulder straps are thicker and wider than most lightweight packs. Half length daisy chain saves weight and accepts all Shoulder Strap Pouches.
  • Hybrid Mesh/Dyneema X Side and Rear Pockets. The leading edge of the side pockets are Dyneema X to prevent snagging when moving through the bush. The lower 5″ of the rear pocket is Dyneema X to prevent abrasion from sharp contents or butt sliding accidents. The 4 oz sq/yd open hole non-stretch water and drains fast to allow contents to dry faster than a tight stretch mesh or solid fabric. Dyneema X elastic top sleeves for long term Durability and elastic replacement.
  • Large un-padded lightweight Dyneema X hip-belt wings with 3/4″ webbing and ultra lightweight buckle. Optional removable Hip Pocket can be attached.
  • Large, slanted mesh side pockets are deep enough for a 2 L Platypus. Top bungee sleeves of Dyneema X for long term durability vs. cheaper style wrapped tops of uncovered elastic bands. Pocket adjusts by pulling the bungee closed through the cord lock. Bungee is 1/8″ thick 40 below rated elastic in a nylon sheath style bungee. Many lower priced packs simply bind over the top of the raw mesh with regular garment type elastic that loses it’s stretch in a few years and does not do well in deep cold weather.
  • 12 bungee attachment web loops with 7 mm glide rings for multiple attachment points for load compression and gear lashing. A short loop of 3 mm line can be attached to the lower loops for trekking pole and ice ax attachment
  • Left shoulder hydration ports
  • Internal hang clip loops for Optional .75 Hydration Sleeve or Stow Pouch. The Hydration Sleeve also converts to a 1.1 oz summit day pack.
  • Removable Multi-position “Most Awesome Sternum Strap In The World” with Black Whistle-Lock Buckle 0.5 oz (not included in base pack weight)
  • Dry Bag roll top closure with V-top compression strap.
  • Long shoulder straps terminate in hand/finger rest loops.

INCLUDES

  • 10″ of black 1/8″ bungee cord
  • 2 mini cord clips and 3 cord locks’

20/09/2017: Gay Rights or Human Rights: The Government refuses to present or frame a bill which would protect our ‘rights’ to free speech, religious liberty, employment and etc if the ‘yes’ vote succeeds. Such a bill would also have to pass the Senate (unlikely). Therefore if we vote ‘yes’ we will have no idea what awful outcomes may ensue. Better to draw a line in the sand and vote ‘No’ now – after all homosexual people already have the right to a civil union, the same inheritance, superannuation, adoption etc rights as other citizens. What is the point of reducing other human rights by supporting the ‘No’ case? And, the warning is: the ‘Yes’ folks are such bullies: http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/at-work/its-not-okay-to-be-homophobic-canberra-contractor-sacked-for-vote-no-facebook-post/news-story/4ed027f47b5810e87036450054a8b6dd I suspect sacking this young woman because she said she will vote ‘No’ on account of her Cghristain beliefs is only the beginning of th ‘Gay’ tyranny. How can a tiny minority (1 ½%) force their views on everyone else. It is mind-boggling! http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/gay-marriage/no-voter-fires-back-after-getting-the-sack/news-story/cebbf3ff4a85c80b01c842f271b9f604

20/09/2017: Virtually an epidemic of cannibalism. In Nigeria it’s got so bad that when you go out for a meal, you are likely to be eating Hamish Macdonald’s bits and pieces – interesting vid on Albert Fish: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/cannibal-caught-scoffing-womans-flesh-dies-in-police-shoot-out/news-story/a1c8a0d5de788f18343f430e8971e99d

 

20/09/2017: Useless objects: https://www.theuncomfortable.com/

 

19/09/2017: Who would have believed you can draw on water: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=42&v=3NZ-cAf8Bbw

19/09/2017: Remember just a little while ago when the Government decided to make all codeine products prescription only? Here are some very sound thoughts about just such nonsense: ‘If you want to convince me of the need for restrictions on any substances, such as narcotics, you have to convince me of three things:

  1. That incarcerating users is somehow better for them than their addiction
  2. That ethically abusers of the substance are more worthy of our attention and intervention than legitimate users who benefit from the substance and whose access will likely be restricted
  3. That the negative social costs of the substance's use are higher than the inevitable social costs of the criminal black market (including the freedom-reducing policing laws implemented in response) that will emerge when its use or purchase is banned’ http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2017/09/yep-i-was-right-opioid-proposals-going-forward-with-no-discussion-of-their-effect-on-legitimate-users.html 

19/09/2017: Ultralight Cookpot: Mountain Laurel Designs’ Titanium Mug (https://mountainlaureldesigns.com/product/titanium-mug/) has to come close to winning the prize at 39 grams for a 475 ml mug which is at least sturdy enough to carry around without its crushing. I would recommend this for ultralight overnight trips such as an ultralight hunter might undertake, for example. You could cook a simple meal in it such as two minute noodles combined with a cup-a-soup.

You might combine it with an egg-ring stove (http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-egg-ring-ultralight-wood-burner-stove/) from 12.5 grams, and a titanium windscreen (https://www.toaksoutdoor.com/products/wsc) 14 grams for a total cookset weight of 65.5 grams.

I have boiled a cup of water (on a 13 gram esbit stove), made coffee and drunk it from a 375 ml beer can I had cut the lid out of with a can opener. You need something to insulate it, perhaps a large rubber band fashioned from a cycle inner tube, but it works and is extraordinarily light.

Trail Designs offer a Caldera set-up which utilizes a large Heineken can as the cookpot, but again it needs a plastic jar to protect it from crushing, so you have to be very careful: https://www.traildesigns.com/products/caldera-keg-f-stove-system  The weight of the pot + cone + stove is 77 grams!

Caldera Keg-F Stove System 

If you want to cook a substantial meal and have a set-up which is pretty near indestructible in your pack, this Toaks pot at 146 grams including the frypan lid is hard to beat: https://www.traildesigns.com/products/toaks-titanium-1100ml-pot-ckw1100 I have a one piece titanium cone (also from Trail Designs) which fits inside it perfectly so that I can cook with an alcohol stove or esbit or with a small wood fire. It also works with the Evernew 900 ml pot at 123 grams includuing frypan lid: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/cookset-woes/

18/09/2017: Ultralight Crockery

I have found it impossible to find a lighter serviceable dish than this one at 15 grams which comes free eg with a packet of Sirena Tuna & Rice. It holds just over 250 ml making it just big enough for my (hiking) cereal in the mornings, or can be used when you are sharing a meal. It is well nigh indestructible - I always carry a couple for Spot (the dog's) food and water too!

I always use a pot with a frypan lid (such as this one http://www.theultralighthiker.com/hiking-cookware/) so I have two cookpots or a pot and a plate. Sometimes it is handy to have another plate such as the one above (eg if you are cooking two dishes (such as fried sausages and mashed potato, or: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/he-hiked-with-a-falafel-in-his-hand/)

The blue cup on the scales below is one that I bought several of from a $1 store years' ago. It weighs 29 grams. I am yet to find a better. It has been with me now for 18 years, and has done great service! The other blue one is a 'Neverrfail' water cup I took home from the doctor's surgery the other day. It seems very flexible and not at all inclined to break. It weighs 5 grams. I think you would have to be careful drinking coffee out of it, but it would be possible. It would be fine for the traditional hiking drink of Bacardi 151 and water though!

18/09/2017: CRKT PDK Replacement Blades

Ultimate Blades for the Ultralight Hunter #2: You can buy #60 scalpel blades on eBay from US$23.95 per 100 (eg here) and you can change the blades on these CRKT PDKs with a locking forceps as shown (which weigh 24 grams - as the photo shows)

You change them just the same as any other scalpel blade (Carefully!) and using eg the tool above, by lifting up the handle end slightly then sliding the blade forward. Reinstalling the new one is the reverse of the process. Dispose of the spent blades safely eg in a hard container with a screw lid.

I know this is a somewhat stingy option given that the knives only cost about $7 each (and weigh 16 grams each including the sheath) when you buy the set of four, but it might be a useful tip. A friend who works in surgery gave me the forceps - as they dispose of thousands of them every year to waste. Astonishing - such a useful tool for fishing too! Well, they both are!

PS: I would imagine you could change the blades in the field with this too ie a Leatherman Squirt: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/leatherman_squirt/

See Also: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultimate-blades-for-the-ultralight-hunter/

 

18/09/2017: Scott Sumner: ‘perhaps…there is no such thing as ‘public opinion’. People are like electrons; you can't measure them without changing their positions…Most people don't have views that are internally consistent, so their ‘views’ on public policy issues are strongly shaped by the wording of the polls’. Certainly, the ‘gay marriage’ poll is like this!

18/09/2017: Dump the RET: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/09/our-electricity-crisis-is-the-cost-of-virtue-signalling/

18/09/2017: Before you start feeling sorry for the Rohingya (and maybe think we should take a few of them in). Think again: http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2017/09/we-should-choose-our-friends-in-the-rohingya-versus-burma-battles-wisely.html & http://pickeringpost.com/story/the-rohingya-s-plight-will-test-our-moral-compass/7571

 

17/09/2017: Ultralight Chair: the Litesmith Qwikback: I don’t know which came first, the ‘Jerry Chair’ I posted about here http://www.theultralighthiker.com/ultralight-chairgrounsheet/ or this one. Whichever, this is an interesting idea for an ultralight chair for the trail if you are not handy enough to make your own. I don’t think it would be as comfy as the Big Agnes Cyclone, but at 75 grams it is less than half the weight, so might be an option. http://www.litesmith.com/qwikback-ul-chair/

 

Relax in a QwikBack™ UL Chair

 

It also makes a very small package. I imagine you could substitute bush sticks for the carbon fibre rods to further reduce the weight. US$59.95 (September 2017) It can be coupled with a closed cell foan pad for extra comfort.

 

The QwikBack™ seat and poles roll up into an integrated pouch for storage

  • ‘Ultralight - just 2.65 oz (75 g)
  • Durable ripstop nylon seat
  • Strong yet light carbon fiber poles
  • Integrated pole storage
  • Folds into a compact, self-contained package

 After several days of hiking, one thing we miss in the backcountry is a chair. But most are too heavy and bulky to even consider carrying as a luxury item. The QwikBack™ UL Chair changed our thinking and made backpacking more relaxing. At just 2.65 oz (75 g), it's hard to leave at home. "What's wrong with a log?", you say. Well, nothing, but after a long day of hiking or even at a lunch stop, something comfortable to lean back on just makes life more enjoyable.

The QwikBack UL Chair is made of durable materials - ripstop nylon seat and twill carbon fiber poles - for years of backcountry enjoyment. Heck, you could even take it with you to the park or outdoor concert.

The design is super simple but it takes a little getting used to because unlike most chairs, this one doesn't stand on its own. First you insert the poles in the reinforced pockets on the chair back, crossing them in an X pattern. Next you sit on the wide end of the seat on the ground with the poles under the fabric. Then prop up the poles behind you and lean back on the chair. Large diameter rubber feet keep the poles from sinking into the ground. To make adjustments, just reach back and grab the poles, lean forward a little, and move them to a better position. Now lean back and relax.’

When its time to pack up, the chair folds into a compact, self-contained package. Simply remove the poles from the seat and fold them in half. The poles are shockcorded and connected in an assembly so they're easy to pack without loosing any pieces. Starting at the top with the dirty side in, roll the poles inside the seat. When you reach the bottom, tuck the roll into the integrated pouch. No extra bag to keep track of.’

 

Litesmith also have some other really neat gear, such as orifice reducers (you will have to click on that one): http://www.litesmith.com/orifice-reducers/, Tottles: http://www.litesmith.com/tottles-hdpe/, Alien Cord Winders (Yes!): http://www.litesmith.com/alien-cord-winders/, Whoopies Slings, etc. Check them out!

 

17/09/2017: Prehistory has so much yet to teach us: http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/evolution/footprint-find-on-crete-may-push-back-date-humans-began-to-walk-upright/news-story/2e60cbd7386573dd2a45c5cc9d79297d

 

17/09/2017:

17/09/2017: The BOM is a disgrace: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/09/too-late-bureau-of-met-buys-time-with-another-major-revision-of-data-that-was-best-quality-five-years-ago/

17/09/2017: Turnbull is such a ‘do-nothing’ guy. Please, Liberals, give us our proper PM, Tony back soon! http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/turnbulls-two-years-lets-compare-to-abbotts/news-story/7e318301658a4f39d54b9c901710b484

16/09/2017: Fire Umbrella: How to prevent the rain from putting out your fire? I have been toying with this idea for some time. This week I decided to try out an 'ultralight' method. I constructed this 1 metre x 1 metre square of tyvek for that purpose, sewing gross grain ribbon tie outs on each of four corners. It weighed less than 2 ounces (60 grams) including the 1mm (pink!) dyneema suspension 'rope'. This is not much weight to carry for the benefit of a warm fire out the front of your tyvek tent or shelter.

Before:

The 'apprentice' seems very pleased with the arrangement.

When I was up the bush on a training trip this week with a new 'apprentice' (you can expect a future post 'The Deer Hunter's Apprentice') some decent (?) rain set in so I thought I would give it a try. To begin with it worked a treat, so the 'proof of concept' is definitely 'in'. After a little while someone became a little enthusiastic about putting too much wood on the fire (and ignoring it) so that the flames were actually 'licking' the tyvek (well 'devouring' might be a better word), which didn't like that so much. Clearly naked flame exceeds the melting point of the tyvek so that it now has a large hole melted in its centre. This could have been prevented by having it suspended about two feet higher and/or not building the fire up so much. The tyvek did not ignite! An important point. Also importantly, the 'string did not melt, only the hottest centre bit of the 'umbrella'. I belatedly shifted it higher and left it there and it melted no more, yet still prevented the fire from going out - which it probably otherwise would have.

The other strategy to use would be to source some more fireproof (though heavier) material. The stuff that 'fire blankets' are made of would be very good, though also very heavy 427 grams. The fire blanket must be made of approx 13 oz cloth. I see that they (https://www.auburnmfg.com/product-category/mro/heat-resistant-cloth/) also make a 9 oz product which would bring the weight down under 300 grams (still too heavy for my liking). Of course both heavier materials would be fine for car-based camping. More to come...

After:

See also: http://www.theultralighthiker.com/fire-tent/

A reader responds: ‘Interesting idea. I'll warn you that the column of hot air -- hot enough air to melt synthetic fabrics -- extends an alarming height from any fire large enough to keep you "warm" without having to sit so close to it that the embers won't make you and your stuff Swiss cheese. I see many possible failure modes for this plan, and most of them involve picking molten plastic off of yourself and/or your gear. The current conditions including wind, etc. are going to make the performance of what that hot air is doing extremely unpredictable, as well. It wouldn't take much of a breeze for the heat to be shifted enough to take out one of your guylines. You are also in a catch-22 situation: The higher you hang the tarp to keep it away from the heat the less effective it is versus rain blowing in from the sides. So the bigger you make it to mitigate this the more heat it captures, so the higher you have to hang it, so the bigger you have to make it... et cetera.

Flame retardant fabric is an idea, but you also need flame retardant suspension lines. And the fire canopy, if it's not designed to just be disposable, is going to be just covered in soot after the first time you use it. So you probably also want something to stuff it into when you're done using it.

If you really need to keep a small fire going in the rain it's probably easier to just stick a half-pyramid of aluminum foil over it. Then you don't need any suspension lines or anything of that ilk. Keeping the tinder and kindling dry when you're getting started is the important part. A good bed of coals can survive a pretty substantial downpour all by itself. And if the prevailing conditions mean that you can't get your hands on dry kindling in the first place then you're probably not having a fire tonight, mini-canopy or not.

(I would further propose that if you are relying on a fire for warmth in your shelter outside of an emergency survival situation you are, in fact, doing it wrong. That's what your shelter and insulation are for. A fire is nice to have [and those marshmallows ain't going to toast themselves], but it should by no means be essential to your safety or comfort -- especially when rain is in the forecast.)’

And my response: Thank you for your input. I camp out mostly in the e colder months, so I usually have a fire for warmth, but you are right – one should not rely on it. I have been doing this for nearly 60 years. These days I usually use one of my tyvek shelters which embers don't affect. The 'fire canopy' (good term - thank you for that) worked very well in the rain except I had it too low. Most of the wind-driven rain is moderated by the structure of the shelter itself, and the wind is kept away from the fire, and of course the embers blow away from the shelter as well. I had it only about 4' above the fire, then someone made the fire too large. It needed to be 6-7' above the fire and the fire needed to be kept small enough so flames never went 4' into the air. This is actually quite easy to do. I would recommend that others use a fireproof material such as the blankets are made of, or the lighter one I provided the link for (which would weigh about 300 grams). I will have yet another go with the tyvek because I have lots of it and am careful, and just see how I go. I never walk tracks or trails, so I hardly ever toast marshmallows. The track walking brigade probably have little bush sense and should definitely be guided by your advice. I am thinking of this idea mostly for backpacking deer hunters - which is what we were doing in the photographs. Thank you also for the idea about the aluminium foil shelter idea for a small fire. I usually recommend people carry some aluminium foil (though not that much) for roasting fish, but your idea is another good option.

16/09/2017: So, the Sumerians discovered trigonometry a thousand years before anyone else and in a better form which had not yet been rediscovered: http://www.thehistoryblog.com/archives/48604 & http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0315086017300691

16/09/2017: More about Sumer: Not such a bad place to live: http://www.ancientpages.com/2017/07/30/what-did-houses-for-ordinary-people-in-sumer-look-like/

 

16/09/2017: New coal-fired generators being built:

 

    China: 299

 

    India: 132

 

    Indonesia: 32

 

    World: 621

 

    Australia: zero

 

The data was requested by Nationals senator and party whip John Williams, who has argued that the carbon emissions produced by the new plants worldwide would eclipse Australia’s total carbon emission profile.

 

Very soon, it will be too late to act on Hazelwood. Quit running around in citcles crying ‘The sky is falling!’David Uren in the Australian: Other countries are wrestling with the same problems as climate change policies force greater adoption of intermittent renewable sources. As a new report from the Grattan Institute notes, Britain, France, Ireland and several US states are paying generating companies to guarantee a level of baseload capacity. Taxpayers foot the bill for generating electricity, whether needed or not. The Finkel review rejected this as too radical a step and recommended instead a new reliability obligation on new renewables plants, which would need to be able to supply power for four hours after the wind or sun stopped, whether through batteries, diesel or other power sources. If implemented rigorously, this could bring investment in renewables to a halt. The generators told the Finkel review the biggest factor impeding investment was the policy malaise. With Labor promising a 50 per cent renewables target and the Coalition deeply divided over carbon emissions policy, there is little prospect of any bipartisan settlement. Instead, a creeping renationalisation appears likely.

 

10/09/2017: Boadicea, Joan of Arc, Pope Joan…More evidence of medieval women’s lib: http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/archaeology/famous-viking-warrior-burial-revealed-to-be-that-of-a-woman/news-story/7c1a4c0053f4cc167676af1bcffa5e37

 

10/09/2017: Personally, I would trust Aung Sun Suu Kyi to be in the right on this issue, but as usual Mal and Jules get it completely wrong: http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2017/09/julie-bishop-gives-another-5-million-for-a-total-of-50m-to-help-out-islamists-in-burmas-rakhine-stat.html

 

10/09/2017: The BOM’s records are now nothing but political statements instead of being historical weather records. First we had the change back in the 80s from minimax thermometers to digital ones which took the temperature constantly. Naturallly, this change produced a warming of the average temperature of nearly a degree. Now we notice that incredibly transient (warm) temperatures lasting less than 1/20th of a second eg from jet engine exhausts - most of the stations today have been moved to airports (!) are entering the records. A mercury thermometer took minutes to change and so ignored such incidentals. Now we find that the BOM has set up their systemn so that colder temperatures (than they would like to exist) are not recorded at all. You can see in the graph belw how this is distorting the instrumental record. The surface station record is now so unreliable it should probably be completely ignored: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/09/bom-review-finds-skeptics-were-right-but-say-trust-us-it-doesnt-matter/

 

Thredbo, maxima, minima, BOM, climate change, temperatures, 1966 - 2017.

 

09/09/2017: I would like to see many referenda (eg on capital punishment, banning fireworks, access to public lands, one law for all Australians, gay marriage, & etc, etc…) but most of all, I would like us to be able to abolish the Senate: I think it is absolutely disgusting that this vile institution still exists which denies this basic right: one person, one vote! It is disgraceful that a voter in Tasmania has ten times the votes of one in NSW or Vic. This House is a dreadful anachronism, ( a harking back to the defunct ‘House of Lords’ in the Westminster Parliament), and simply serves as a vehicle to allow commies & crazies to impose their minority wills on us all– in the depraved guise of the Greens, for example. It has to be abolished, or at least seriously reformed!

09/09/2017: I can live without such glass: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/08/the-odd-case-of-spontaneously-shattering-glass/

09/09/2017: Howard is perfectly right: You can’t vote for a ‘pig in a poke’ (bag). We must see the legislation first! He is also right that the change will have manifold other ramifications which we would never vote for (such as has been happening in the UK – and here. This may be our last best chance to halt the march of ‘progressivist’ tyranny.

09/09/2017: How could a country with huge resources of coal, gas and uranium (and thorium) run short of electricity? Except that the lunatics are running the asylum: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/a-totally-idiotmade-electricity-disaster/news-story/86a2172e094577dce3edbaa0ba4ba1d2

 

08/09/2017: Given that water vapour is responsible for 99% of the so-called greenhouse effect, ‘If we’re worried about CO2